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!








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.



New Journal alert!

New Journal alert!

The trend of having many journals going on all at once seems to be catching up with me too! Although I am still very pleased with my Zequenz 360* books, I have been experimenting with newer page formats and papers too. (And yes I have finally succumbed to the adult coloring book mania too)


The latest journal I have started to use is by Lana. It is a gorgeous spiral bound A4 book with lovely Kraft paper cover.


The pages are a natural white in 150gsm and going by my first page experiment can handle a fair bit of wet media.




This is gong to be my ”Learning Curve ” journal. Find out why and check out my plans for this book here.



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…!!







CL Art Journal 7- Gratitude

This page happened after a bit of a whirlwind of anxiety and stress. It just seemed like it would not stop at the time. I have had a few instances of this happening in recent times but with each new one I seem to cope better. It is sometimes best to try and step aside from that situation, thank the Lord for all the good things and try to ease that anxiety about the unknown with gratitude for what we already have.

I started with black gesso on this page because that darkness really does envelop you. There was a stenciled doily pattern done with modelling paste (used some left over paste from a different project) The circles were meant to represent me going around in circles but eventually turned out more like gifts and ornaments, which clearly shows a mindshift from that anxiety to a more calm space.

The doily got a little messed up as I tried to highlight just the raised area of the paste. My chalk ink pad had a mind of it own. Coincidentally there is a bit of text in the circles that says ‘happy girl’…:) Love how these things just happen!!

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CL Art Journal – 6 All you need is love

Some days love and fresh air is really all you need to get by. I have long been a fan of the song by the same name by the Beatles. Love has a certain power like no other. It is an emotion that can drive you to achieve great heights or plunge you to deep despair.  It is also the perfect ‘ rescue’ pill. That day I was caught between experiencing it on both ends of the spectrum…simultaneously.

For this page as always I was aiming to try something ‘new’ and have made a little tutorial for how I went about it here. Enjoy.





CL Art Journal 5 – Watching the world go by

This was an especially busy and tough week for me. Some days there are just so many things I WANT to do but there are overshadowed by all the things I NEED to do. Time just does not stand still and sometimes I am just way too tired. Once you cross 4o you become vividly aware of how much you wanted to do and how much you have actually achieved. This almost makes you want to hit the fast forward button on certain important developments you have wanted in your life. That sense of regret and frustration often makes me feel like life is just passing me by. I am like a spectator, helpless and powerless and small.

This was one of my first faces in a journal page. Inspired by a video by Dina Wakley. I recall how scared I was to draw faces on my fashion design illustrations and that hasnt changed that much even now. But the video reminded me of a lot of the basic concepts I have learned before and allowed me to explore water color pencils too.



Plenty of room for improvement on the face for sure, But I quite like the way it turned out for a first attempt. I have since gone on to do the ‘Fly’ canvas and ‘Inner Peace’ page using faces.


My welcome back home/Xmas gift last year was the Silhouette Cameo  although I really havent had much time to play with it I have been experimenting a bit. In trying to get the fonts cut out, the machine messed up some of the paper and I was left with this beautiful negative impression of the word I was actually trying to cut. Happy accident. My favorite Moroccan trellis stencil with texture paste partially covers the face. The winter feel just evolved and fit in with the message somehow.



An unusual combination of colors for me but they seem to work quite nicely.


Definitely want to go from spectator to player soon!