World Journey – Mixed Media lab April 2016

This journal page was ready way in advance as this months DT theme at Mixed Media Lab is so relevant to me and my family. We have in fact just made such a journey half way across the world…from Africa to Asia!


I have to admit another reason why it was so exciting to make this page was all the materials and tools in my stash that were so well suited to such a theme!

My page started out as always with a coat of gesso. This was followed by some distress ink background in various shades of blue and brown. I used the world map stamps in a diagonal arrangement and followed that up with passing white acrylic paint through the ray stencil.


This little pile of suitcases was on the front cover of a craft magazine in SA and the moment i saw it I knew it would come handy. so I cut it out and saved it in my stash. And I was right…:)) It fitted so well in this page. But before sticking it down I placed it on the page and distressed the area around its edge. Looking at it now I am wondering why I did that but there probably was a good reason for it at the time.IMG_4333

Next I used a wording stencil that has some amazing journey and travel related text. Along with that I started to place some of the stamps too. I had so many to choose from I could not decide how many was too many. At this stage I stuck down the suitcases and carried on with the layering.


Next up was texture paste through a TCW stencil which also has some stamps and postal themed designs.


And so the layout was coming to life….


I found this lovely Africa stamp just begging me to use it…:)) how could I refuse???? And some more beautiful postage stamps and map related images.

Next came the message and ta da……the page was done….well almost! IMG_4343

Eventually I added some journalling to the edges of the page. Some ‘notes to self’ almost about the move and keeping myself motivated.


WordPress reminded me today was the first anniversary of this blog! Thank you for following me thus far. Your presence has been inspiring and fun. I hope you stay a while and accompany me onward….this journey is only just beginning!









Angels, Fairies and Elves – Mixed Media Lab DT March 2016


This months DT theme had me really worried……firstly beacuse I am not a big fairy and elf person…Angels….ahhh those I can do all the time. Secondly I have been very uninspired to create these past weeks….I’m either too tired or its the wrong time or I am procrastinating….I have been very unproductive in the studio. It could also be that my creative self is busy ”creating’ our new home. Deciding where to hang paintings, styling all our little mementos and photographs and constantly re-organizing cupboards….its just hasnt left me with much head space to work on art in the studio.

Back to this months project, It took me awhile to decide how to incorporate all 3 into a single project. Once there I felt I was overthinking it and decided to pursue just Angels….IMG_4881


This project was made for my BFF in Cape town. She truly is my Angel….my friend in deed, my partner in crime, my shoulder to lean on……social media and technology is great but it cant replace those face to face meetings and coffee mornings…I miss her so. But while the miles separated us I wanted her to have something to hold on to. Something to remind her that I am with her in spirit, no matter how far apart we are.

This is a fairly large canvas going by my normal project sizes. I have used my usual collage papers, texture paste, stamping and stenciling techniques. I love the skirt on the Angels dress. It has a beautiful texture and flecks of gold.

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The heart was a paper doily I cut using the heart punch then colored it with red ink. The quote was printed onto tissue paper before transferring to the canvas. I wasn’t sure I could line up all my alpha stamps so neatly…:))

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My favorite element of this piece is the heart and these little lollipop flowers. they were so fun to make. With every layer they evolved and changed. I have some words on their stems to describe our relationship.

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I was so proud of how it turned out! And my BFF was super chuffed to have one of my originals. She reckons it will be worth a lot of money someday…lol….A girl can dream right.

Dont forget to go over to Mixed Media lab page and check out what my fellow DT members have come up with for this theme.


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Emotions – Mixed Media Lab DT – Feb 2016

Wow! Another entire month gone by since my last post! Its been a very busy month for sure. We moved to our new place and its been unpacking unpacking unpacking since. A bit of a difficult task when you have a LOT of stuff and are trying to condense it into a much smaller space.

This months theme for my DT contribution to Mixed Media Lab is ‘Emotions’. A theme that is definitely relevant to the state(s) of mind I have been in these past weeks.


Its almost 2 months since we moved from Cape Town and each day has brought its own challenges. Amid those daily domestic woes I miss my friends and familiar faces dearly, miss having a car to go where I want when I want, miss the familiarity of supermarkets and shops and above all I yearn for the beauty of Durbanville and the immense joy I got from viewing the beautiful mountains and valleys each day.

And despite all those sad feelings my heart is simultaneously thankful, grateful and happy, for all the Lord has blessed us with. Much more than we could have imagined. We have a lovely house, the kids are well settled already in their wonderful new school, I have started to make new friends and engage with the community at school and in our neighbourhood. There is excitement for the new projects I am undertaking and planning, Life has come together a lot faster than could be considered ‘normal’ for newcomers.

So my canvas today reflects all these emotions. The quote is beautiful and I will remind myself of this whenever my emotions start to get the better of me.

A little about the process: Since the studio is still not quite set up I am struggling with step by step pictures and videos, (other than the fact that I do get carried away and forget to take pictures most often…:)) but I will try to explain as best I can.

The canvas started with me applying random colors of acrylic paint with a credit card. Then I added some scraps of paper and music sheets for texture. went over these again to highlight certain colors. Then doodled all over with a black pen and stenciled some white paint patterns. Some paint splatters in the same colors used at the base followed.Also added some motifs with Stazon ink and stamps. I added some metallic gold paint sparingly for some luminosity.


Next I drew the leaves and bird with a water color pencil. Painted the teal back ground in (choosing a contrasting color to the base colors used) leaving the insides of the leaves and bird untouched so it would show the background. The paint was fairly thin so that the background effects were still somewhat visible. With my white posca pen I then outlined the design again. This looked a bit too stark and bright so I went over it with a green Inktense pencil. I shadowed all the design areas with a charcoal pencil and set about using other Posca colors to make patterns on the birds. I love the folksy look this achieved. The black outlines on the bird and leaf veins were done with a micron pen and the same used for the writing and little doodles. The gold crown picked up the gold flecks in the background nicely. It was drawn with a Uniball signo gold pen.


Lastly I added the ’emotions’ around all the leaves with a white gel pen and wrote the quote.


This piece will sit in my studio for sure. It is one of my most favorite projects to date. I hope your enjoyed viewing it and dont forget to go over to Mixed Media lab to check out the other posts on the same theme. Cheers to February!




Who Am I? – Mixed Media Lab – Jan 2016

Happy New Year 2016!! This is my first contribution to the 2016 Mixed Media Lab prompt list. You will remember my previous post about being enlisted as a DT member. This months prompt is ”Who am I?”

What better way to start a new journey than reintroducing /reminding yourself about WHO you really are! 2014 was an important year for me in that discovery of who I am, what I want out of life, where do I see myself in the larger scheme of things…….yep plenty of mid life crisis thoughts….lol! But crisis can be avoided with clarity of thought and planning and so I dedicated 2015 towards the journey called ME. There were plenty of great moments with an equal amount of really scary ones, but with my faith strong I sailed through and am now on the anvil of another new beginning…literally and figuratively.




If you have been following my facebook page you might know that we have just moved to Singapore 3 weeks ago…..which also means that my art supplies are at this time floating across the ocean from South Africa. Knowing that I would want to indulge myself in some art while on this odd kind of vacation from normal life, I did make myself a little travel pack. Its is just the bare minimum so bear with me on this one.

Limited resources means a double dose of creativity both on the page and off the page. I split a huge plastic bag from my recent visit to a local art store to use as a table liner. To make the different sizes circles shapes I used all the bowls and plates in the kitchen cupboards….:))) bottle caps from all my acrylic colors were used for the rings. The top end of a pouncer made some nice organic looking circles. All my now useless store cards from SA served as scrapers/squigees…….plenty for a days work?…:))

So down to business. I had a few different ideas for this theme. But some of them had to be shelved for lack of tools and supplies. I might just make them later because there are 2 I really want to try out. For this page I am working in my Lana journal. This is an A4 layout which I really like because I don’t have a seam/spine to deal with. After the first few pictures I was completely engrossed in what I was doing and could not get pictures with my messy hands. I hope the description helps you follow the process.

I started by covering the page with gesso. Then marked out concentric circles loosely with a pastel pencil. Chose a few colors and spread them in a random ray pattern starting from the middle with a small palette knife. Then using the same colors through a stencil I created a bit of texture in the background.



Instead of using gesso to subdue the colors I used white acrylic paint. Its was applied heavier around the edges and lighter in the center. Using the circle stencil and various bottle caps I made some white circles patterns.


I stamped the key words that define me with alphabet stamps and Stazon ink going around in concentric circles. Scribbled the finer text with a micron pen loosely following the circles I had marked earlier. Each scribble is related tot he key word stamped in larger font. Do you see the ME in the center?12404283_10153605146087530_1151989313_n

Using a light modelling paste, I stencilled a border at the top and bottom. All those bottle caps and bits I mentioned earlier? this is where they came handy to mark little bright colored outlines and circles. I also filled in some of the previous white circles with color.


My last haul from the art store included a lovely silk screen text stencil by Martha stewart. I was hoping to use that for the theme message, but after trying them out the text was lost in my busy background. So back to my trusty little box of letters made with the Cuttle bug and I was lucky to find what I needed…almost…;)


Once I had placed the main message I decided it needed some more motifs. Butterflies are my most favorite motif of all so I chose some stamps and a napkin print to go on.

The letters were attached with gel medium and then covered with clear gesso. I tried to highlight the letters by using a charcoal pencil around the letters. Unfortunately this also resulted in the white letters becoming muddy…;( Next time I have to remember not to gesso the top of the letters. That way I can wipe off the charcoal with a wet tissue as the gel medium creates a resist/protective film.


Limited resources do not always mean limited fun….I thoroughly enjoyed making this page and love how well it turned out.

Who are you?………do post a link to your page if you follow the prompt.





how mixed media found me.

Its been almost 3 years now that I have indulged in mixed media art. I have worked a few different canvasses, paper projects, altered bottles and more recently in art journaling. But there is a really special story to how mixed media found me.

It all started with me wanting to make a hand made gift for my daughters 18th Birthday. I was looking for ideas on how to make this thought a reality so decided a visit to my local art store would help inspire me. And it did! On the top shelf there sat this canvas that I had been ogling for a while. That afternoon I asked to see it more closely and I was intrigued by the intricate little details that were not evident from afar. My friend Melinda owns that art store and it just so happened that it was one of her art works. She told me about the painting and how she came to experiment with that mixed media art and lent me the book she had worked from. It was my first introduction to Kelly Rae Roberts and the world of mixed media and ‘she’ art.

Lots of google hours later I had a plan….well sort of! I spent 2 working days on that project. It was a first for me on so many different elements! from tools to mediums to techniques. Plenty of help was at hand because I worked at the shop itself. Firstly because I had to be away from home so it would be a surprise for my daughter and secondly for convenience, because everything I needed was sold at the shop.

To say I winged it is putting it mildly!….and of course being someone that really takes a challenge head on, I painted a face on my first canvas in over 20 years!


This was where it all began. There is decoupage, collage, painting, rubs ons and plenty more in this project. The girl represents my daughter. The angel is one of her most favored symbols as it forms part of her name. The wings are part angelic part representative of the freedom that comes with age. That breaking out of a cocoon as it were is also why there are butterflies (and because they are my favorite). It carries her love for music, her pet cat and some words of wisdom that will always hold her in good stead.

In a few months she will turn 21!!! I have already been asked for another art work to commemorate that big day…..and some pre-orders on other birthdays to come…lol.

And so Mixed media sort of found me…..this was the start… pushed me out of a shell. I found myself exploring so many kinds of art forms, I took classes, I made art, plenty of it, I indulged myself completely…..heck I even taught classes this past year! A journey begins with the first step…..and this was my first step in my art journey and the world of mixed media.






Be Brave (Soul Food)

Be Brave (Soul Food)

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This page is very very special to me. My older son is a boy after my own heart. He has all the creative genes he could possibly have inherited from me and his maternal grandparents…..:))) Not only is he inherently creative himself but always curious about things I do and wanting to experiment and work alongside me while I craft.

Before I ran the Art Journaling introduction work shop last month I wanted to run a test on some tags. To ensure the time would be enough, what sort of tools and equipment I need to carry, what sort of designs would be feasible, etc. My son was very intrigued by the samples I had made and decided he wanted to try it too. We were working side by side and going through a tutorial online each using their own colors and motifs but the same techniques. At some stage I decided to add a spray of colour and it went a bit south!…;( I was disappointed that my over zealousness to add colour had now ruined the piece. My son seeing my unhappy face said ” you took a risk, It did not work out, so what! You tried something new” This really touched my heart and for days I got that warm fuzzy feeling every time I thought about it. At 10 years old he taught me a very valuable lesson and gave me a wonderful memory to live with.

I created this page to honour that memory. Ironically the experiment had a few bumps and the page lived up to the message it carried.

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Writing this post made me realize I don’t have a picture of the tags mentioned above. I must remember to add it here soon.



The learning curve

The learning curve

There have been a fair number of discussions about ”blank page scare” and ”scared to copy” and ”I want my page to be original but don’t know where to begin” on every art journaling and mixed media forum I am part of. We all face the same fears when starting out.

Mixed media whilst being very liberating can simultaneously be very overwhelming. All those layers, techniques, media, paper types, styles, equipment, used etc etc…….I can spend hours just ‘browsing’ trying to decide on a plan for my page/canvas.

Even though art journaling is about self expression we are infected with the ‘perfectionist’ bug and those gorgeous pages on Pinterest and and Facebook and on other forums just make us want to be able to turn out a masterpieces each time. Overthinking my art is one my biggest hurdles to actually creating. I still have days when I want to make art but the ‘originality’ corner of my brain just wont switch on. I will either keep browsing and end up making nothing or push myself to choose a video to follow and go for it. The end result is often nothing like the tutorial but it serves as loose guide to get me going……but wait! if it looks nothing like the tutorial it becomes an original right? just like that, by default.

When queries related to these fears surface on the forums I usually advise newbies to just follow a video from start to finish if you are struggling. IME the more you do  (whether original or ”copied”) the more adept you become at using your media, materials and tools. Its practice no matter how you choose to do it. And practice does make perfect when it comes to art.

In order to be able to do  more of these default originals,  I am employing one of my new journals as my ”Practice” Journal. Its like those art school books we had, where we did all our practice work, learning, scribbling notes, etc. I have named it ”The learning curve”. In this journal I will link to the video or tutorial I used and explain where my steps/ materials etc were different so other beginners can see how these fears can be overcome. I doesn’t have to tick all those boxes that form the foundation of my art approach (see what mean here), but it will almost always leave me happy with what I created or wiser for the experience. I hope you will enjoy this series as much as I am enjoying making them.

Ta for now!



Live in the moment (Soul Food)

Live in the moment (Soul Food)

This has pretty much become my mantra …….and its does work wonders to live in the moment. Life is so unpredictable and a moment in time can never be gained back.

There is a definite mood reflection in this page. There is a lot of stuff that’s blurry at the moment. some that are in very clear focus and others sort of in between.

From a technique perspective The embossing went a bit awry…;( First time using the silver powder and the ink was dry before I could get it on because it came to me as an afterthought.

I also have some process pictures to share on this.  The colors were inspired by a beautiful winter sunset. Look at those colors!! The picture really does it no justice!IMG_2468

This time instead of Gesso I used a canvas primer as a base. It is much smoother than gesso and has less of that grainy rough feel. Started my page by stamping grassy and tree pattern stamps in different colored Stazon in the center of the page. I have used Saddle brown. Timber brown, Grey and black. Went over it with an oatmeal colored acrylic paint but did not cover all areas. Then I stamped another layer in the foreground and edges.




This was my main color palette based on the reference pictures but I used all kinds of different paint mediums and not just in acrylics as seen here.

IMG_2671 Next I marked the direction of the light with some rays in the flesh tint acrylics and used a baby wipe to smear the paint.   IMG_2672

Added some more lower foreground stamping with smaller patterns and more colors, drying between each layer.IMG_2673 You can see how blurry the initial stamping is but because different colored inks were used there is still depth to the piece. I have used the purple and pinks and some paynes grey acrylic at the edges helped condense the image. All smeared with a baby wipe but drying between colors. You can see the colors used on the scrap paper on the right in the picture above.


The acrylic color stays open for a very short time so its important to work fast.  Once the acrylic was dry, I also added some distress inks in colors that matched the reference pictures . After stamping the message I decided it looked too dull as the page was flat with  no texture paste, or embellishments added. So used my embossing pen to outline the wording. the Silver embossing powder however was a mess. My page flew shut and it touched the other side too….lessons learned here though… very careful with embossing powder….;((





The little white spots are water drops sprinkled on the page and wiped off. Where ever they fell on distress ink the ink reactivated and came away when wiped. IMG_1256


The page reflected that sunset and I managed to keep that glow so boo boos and all this page was fulfilling.






Do More of what makes you Happy (Soul Food)

Do More of what makes you Happy (Soul Food)


The first page of my ”happy” journal was not half as disastrous as the Contemplating life journal…:))) I learnt my lessons well.

The internet has a number of projects with these little flowers that gave off this really happy, innocent, cheerful feeling. So I thought it was perfect for this page. The flowers are random cuts of scrapbooking paper and the leaves cut from old dictionary or magazine text. I love how the muted background really makes the flowers pop.



The flowers have become a bit of  favorite and I have since used them in my workshop projects and craft group tags with very pleasing results.



Creativity (Soul Food)

Creativity (Soul Food)


That wandering mind that often tries to understand why some of us wear our creativity on every fibre of our being yet others need for it to be almost wrenched out of them to believe they possess it!

This was a bit of a test run of some new Staz on colors I got as well as a new color theme and stamps.

My favorite part of this page is the little birdies in their art nest although I see how they blended into the background a bit and the sharpness of the image was lost. I’m always learning…!!