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!









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.




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.






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 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!




CL Art Journal 2 – Love Art

The second page in my book fell into place very easily. My first page evoked so many emotions that I decided to actually base my next page on them.


Deciding on a color scheme is a bit of struggle for me. My mind darts in so many different directions. So this time I decided to choose 3 colors that work well together and shut the color box so I would not torment myself. I did however add some complimentary colors as I went along.

This page talks about how much I enjoy art. That I could be painting all day. How life gets in the way!


There is a schedule from a cable TV magazine in the background. I am on a tight schedule on schools days. Then when I do get around to making time for art I obsess over stuff. The tags describe some of these obsessions.


The cog wheels are turning and I want to set myself free (butterflies)


I LOVE how this page turned out!


CL Art Journal 1 – The Time is now

So I bought a new ‘fancy’ journal!

And waited a whole week to decide what my first page would be….it had to be perfect right. New journal and all. I just could not decide on what I wanted to do for the first page.

What I did know is that i wanted to test the paper first. So I used a couple of the back pages to test for absorbency, reaction to very wet media, dry media and pens and made notes on that. Still no plan for page 1.

Got my gelatos out and started putting down a sort of rainbow color splatters every where. It looked terrible! Bright and ugly. Decided to stencil with texture paste to mute the colors. It was still terrible. With no real direction or plan to go forward or fix this mess, I decided to walk away….telling myself all sorts of negative things about how I think I am so good at this but actually I know squat, how ugly this page was, OMG I have to look at this everyday and its disgusting etc etc.

That night I watched a video, where the artist started with something, could not get it to work , the whole thing went to mud and then out of all that mess she turned it around and there came a beautiful page! The next morning I went back to my journal. Gesso over the colors and got this muted colored background. I sanded off some of the texture to make it brighter and was intent on stamping all those negative words /thoughts from the night before as a reminder that there is no such thing as ugly art!


As I started to write the word Journey I realized it actually has the word journal in it, then came the rest of the words and the arrangement suddenly looked so good. IMG_0214The words were also meaningful and relevant to what had happened to the page and what this journal was all about. It is a journey , of learning, of self discovery and expression through art. I added the time stamps and the map stamp to tie in the theme and there you go my first page of my ‘fancy’ journal was born. Its not the best and I know I could have done so much better if I had not stressed out so much. But seeing it each day reminds me of what not to do in some ways.


The time is now…..



A new Journey Begins

A new Journey Begins

This past 12 months has been the most challenging time of my life so far. And I know I say this whenever something really big happens, but its almost like the bar is raised with every challenge in my life which really leaves me wondering what the Lord wants me to learn from this…but that’s another blog post altogether.

I have been playing around with mixed media for almost two years now (see my story about how I ‘got into’ mixed media here). Most of the art I have made so far was been made for friends and family and given away. I wanted something for myself now and seeing as did not have the space for a collection of canvasses I decided art journaling was a good way to have a personal collection of my mixed media art. Going back to what I said about challenging times in my life right now, I also needed something that would work as a bit of a pick me up on ‘those’ days!!

A friend sends out a quote for the day each morning to a group of us on WhatsApp and a lot of times those quotes are almost tailored to what my thoughts are or the happening in my life at that moment. So I decided to make some of those quotes the foundation of my journal pages.

Other random thoughts, pages by other journalers I follow online and life experiences form the rest of my journal.

If you have a quote to share please leave me a comment below. This page will also talk about the ‘business’ of art journaling. i.e techniques, supplies, artist I follow etc. Join me on this journey.