The Measure of Love – #2 – Using Script to cover your background 🎨

I feel that things are moving on a pace in my art journal journey!  Inspired by Debbie Saenz blog post with her beautiful mixed media I decided to do a bird cage of my own. There is a very old song, Victorian I think, which is about a bird in a gilded cage and how sad it is to be locked in a cage rather than free and this, teamed with some collage which I got free from  Shawn Petite’s wonderful website got me thinking about the measure of love, hence the basis for my mixed media piece.

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After I’d done my background I wrote quotes (including the words from the song I mentioned above) all over it, giving it a script feel but in my own handwriting – which is a bit dodgy, but I don’t think that matters too much.

Some pages from a book form the birds and the paints are Dyan Reaveley’s acrylic paints which are so vibrant  – I’m in the UK so get mine at Art From The Heart.  Here I have watered them down slightly as they can be a little too vibrant if you are looking for a more translucent look.

My gilded cage uses a glitter gel pen from my stash and the words are from an alphabet stamp set and I’ve used Tim Holtz Distress Ink.  Overall I am really happy with this piece and I think the scripted background is a good effect mixed in with all the other paper backgrounds.

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Whatever your type of journaling is, bullet, art of something else,  I hope you have a lovely time with it this weekend.

Jane 💛

 

Art Journaling – Rule No. 1 – Expect the Unexpected! 🎨

Thank you for your comments on my last art journaling post – they are much appreciated – and keep them coming.

I have delved into the mysterious art journal world again, lovely people, and feel that I am making progress!  After spending a fair bit of time on YouTube, I am still no further forward to learning all the ‘rules’ so to speak but I was inspired by a weekly video called Crash The Stash posted by Shawn Petite and wanted to create my own piece, inspired by hers.  So here goes, this is my thinking behind this one – (Stay with me!)

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I had already prepared a background in my journal which was on a pink/orange theme so I collaged lots of paper over the top, using gesso to stick it all down.  I used a mixture of scrapbook papers, some dotted papers which were originally paper bags and some text from an old book.

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I stencilled over the top, once dry, using black acrylic paint and a mixture of stencils.

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I cut out a shape I found on the internet of a lotus flower and stuck it in the  middle as my inspiration came from Shawn’s piece which used a butterfly instead – but I liked the idea of a lotus leaf as it was peaceful – which was the kind of theme I was trying to achieve.

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I really wanted that bit to ‘pop’ so I coloured over it using my Spectrum Noir glitter brush pens in dark blue – although that seems to look purple in the photograph but this could be a mixture of the pen and the printer ink!  I guess that’s one of the rules of mixed media art – strange things happen!

I also added some Faber Castell Gelatos and really liked the irridescence that seemed to appear on the paper.

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I lettered in a couple of words and thought I was finished but I didn’t really like the whole ‘lotus’ thing as it just sat there in on the page! (albeit looking pretty).

So, a cup of tea later, I went back to take another look.  And it suddenly struck me that the lotus leaf really looked like the tail of a peacock – as did the colours I had used with my Gelatos.  So, hey presto, a bit of inspiration hit and I changed my lotus leaf into a Peacock!

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The rest just seemed to flow from there – I wanted to include a quote which reflected the peacock, i.e. nature but also to show that if you slow down and take your time and think about these things before rushing in (not my usual approach!) then lovely things may happen!

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And lovely things did.  Here is my peacock in all his glory – and I’m mighty proud of him!  And here is rule number one lovely people –  #1 – Expect the Unexpected – inspiration can strike at any time!

Happy journaling, whatever kind you prefer.  Until the next time..

Sending Hugs

Jane 💛

Scarlet the Harlot – Introducing my latest Bullet Journal ❤️

As the title of my blog suggests, I do like a bit of colour and I recently posted here about the latest addition to my journal collection in the form of a beautiful Chic Sparrow cover – you can read about it  here.  Now, I love this journal cover and it lives in my handbag all the time but I was very cross with the nasty customs people for charging me a whopping extra £28 to import it from the States (after it was already quite expensive) so, as much as I love it, I don’t think my budget can stretch to that amount in the future!

So, a challenge; to find another beautiful cover but from a UK Supplier.  I am already the proud owner of a Startbay Notebook A5 Navigator in dark brown (review here) which I love but I was after something a bit more colourful – perhaps for the Summer?

After a bit of a trawl around Etsy I found the perfect solution – and she is BEAUTIFUL!  So, please put your hands together for…..

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This little Scarlet beauty from the amazing Meadowgate Leather and she certainly lives up to expectations, and then some.  The smell of leather when you open the package is gorgeous and she has been beautifully made.  This particular model is the Snowbell Deluxe and I chose a B6 size which sits slightly between an A5 and an A6 and suits my purposes very well.  Another bonus is the price – a LOT less than the Chic Sparrow and with none of the nasty customs suprises upon delivery!

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You have lots of choices with this design as they are all made to order and I chose the Scarlet leather with Navy stitching and opted for various additions including the pen loop, horizontal wallet configuration inside the front cover, additional name tag, thread and elastic in Navy.  You can even choose how much overhang you would like if you are planning on packing a whole load of inserts into it – the standard is 10mm but there are also options for 17mm and a whopping 23mm if you really want to jam-pack it!

Jam-packing it brings me on nicely to inserts – again, quite hard to source these in the UK, especially in the B6 size but a big shout out for The Idea Owl, which is where I get mine from – and they sure are pretty!  As you can see, I was working on a Summer theme here, with my Bikini notebook (available in choices including dot grid, squared, ruled or plain), but I was trying to match them all to the gorgeous Scarlet red and my lovely Mint Green Kaweko fountain pen, which I got from Cult Pens and which fits nicely into the pen loop.

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So there you have it – my latest addition and I am soooo happy with it – it is of the most beautiful quality, firm but soft at the same time and the smell ……..  did I mention the smell!  I just love the smell of leather – is that a bit weird? 😆.  All the links will take you to where I bought the products – I am not affiliated to them in any way, I just like these companies.

For anyone interested, here are all their Instagram accounts if you want to follow along. Is anyone else in love with their Meadowgate Leather journal?  I’d love to hear your comments.  Happy journaling and much love….

Jane 💛

Meadowgate Leather ❣️ The Idea Owl ❣️ Startbay Notebooks ❣️ Cult Pens ❣️

 

 

 

Am I a Mixed-Media Meddler?

I have chosen my words for this title carefully. Mainly because I want you to understand what is going on in my head (a miracle in itself!)

I love mixed media art. Statement of fact. I have loved it for years, without even knowing it – I used to sew things and then sell them at craft fairs and whenever I wandered around the fair looking at other people’s work I was always drawn to beautiful mixed media creations and wished that they were mine!

So it’s no surprise that when I started journaling I adopted an ‘arty’ kind of style, which in turn led to me trying my hand at art journaling – and this is where I feel the problems have begun – am I meddling in areas that are far beyond my comprehension?

Now I am a black and white kinda gal! And I’m also somewhat of a control freak so when I sit down to create a piece of art I have a hard time working out what to do – is this just me? Or does that happen to you too?

Where does that ‘idea’ come from? Can you learn to do that, or is it just inside you somehow? Why do I start off well, really enjoy the whole process but dislike the end result? There are so many questions that I need answers to but maybe I’ve missed the point – there aren’t any answers – which is why Art is such a subjective thing.

Take this for example – one of my first art journaling pieces which I completed this week-

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Now I don’t like this. Simply another statement of fact. I started off loving it – the layers, the colours, the process. And then came the orange! I was trying to make it look like the sun was setting but all I seem to have achieved is a brown kind of a mess. I don’t like the boat either, for what it’s worth.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not downhearted about it and I am not trying to garner any kind of sympathy from you, the reader of this post, and I’m sure by the time I post on my next piece I will have moved on – it may even grow on me but the point of this blog post is that mixed media is confusing as there don’t seem to be any rules – and as you know I do like a rule or two (back to the right or wrong thing again).

This is a piece of work from an amazing artist I follow on YouTube and Instagram – you may already know her – Shawn Petite – she also has a blog at shawnpetite.com.

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I love this – the colours, the design, the meaning (Shawn explains her thinking behind each piece on her Sunday Inspiration slot on YouTube).  But why do I love it? What makes this appealing?  Are there rules that have been followed? (bit of a theme going on here!)

I’d like to document my mixed media journey and it would be good to have you along, with any insights, tips or advice that you feel you could contribute – positive or negative -I don’t mind – I just want to open a dialogue and see where it takes us.  Perhaps there are rules I need to follow – I just don’t know what they are yet but as and when I find out I’d be happy to share them with you here!

Until then, happy journaling of whatever kind!

Jane 💛

 

My Art Journal – A Ray of Sunshine ☀️

When I first started doing Art again, about a year ago, I began with taking a course which i found online.  It was by a brilliant mixed media artist called Joanna Sharpe and I would recommend it to anyone.

Anyway one thing kind of morphed into another and I discovered Bullet Journaling (which I obviously love) but I did miss the art a bit.  So I’ve decided to start an Art Journal and began this sunny afternoon!

You can spend a total fortune on art journaling supplies (as you can with bullet journaling) so I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could use what I had.  I decided to make a stencil, using my Silhouette Portrait machine, and see if it would hold up to inks and paints (even though it is only made of card).

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I guess the good thing about it is that I can just make another one when this one falls apart! and there seem to be countless free files available online which you can use for this purpose (just make sure it is a .png file to import into Silhouette).

I covered my background with a mixture of acrylic paints, using the “baby wipe” method taught by another amazing artist and YouTuber, Dyan Reaveley – Dyan is also responsible for the Dylusions range of paints and art journal supplies sold by Ranger – here is a brilliant stockist in the UK if you are interested – Art From The Heart – (they also sell Tim Holtz and various other artists) – they have a great range.

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(Holding up well, so far), but I have only used inks with them rather than paint as I thought this would not be so wet (it’s only cardboard after all!).  After the background was done I started adding my layers, using text from a book, a gorgeous sunny picture from a sunday paper magazine, and gesso to dampen the whole thing down otherwise it seemed to look too bright.

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I stencilled some of the Gesso to make it a bit of a 3-D effect and I really like how that has come out.  Then a few more embellishments including some “saying” stickers that I made on the Portrait and I think I’m done!

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What do you think?  Do you have any top tips I can follow, or maybe an artist you follow that you would recommend?  I’d love to hear about them so please comment below.  Until next time, from this sunny afternoon here in the UK, have a great crafting weekend!

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Jane 💛

A Little Chic Sparrow comes to the UK 🇬🇧

A HUGE treat arrived in the post yesterday, nearly three weeks after leaving the States to make its new home here in the countryside in Norfolk, United Kingdom.  I’m very excited to announce the arrival of a Chic Sparrow planner, the Deluxe Pemberley in Aubergine, size B6 Slim.  What can I say – it is gorgeous! 💖

Not the cheapest on the planet (and certainly not after the nasty customs people stung me for extra tax) but I must say the workmanship is gorgeous and the extra money was not the fault of Chic Sparrow!fullsizeoutput_40f8

Just look at that amazing colour!  I paid a little extra and had an inscription put on, which I love and it has been done really well.  The stitching is immaculate and the quality overall is very high.  The leather is soft and squidgy, and thick, and smells amazing!

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Of course, I needed some inserts for my lovely new planner and these I found by a British supplier called The Idea Owl – who stocks a load of planner inserts (for all sizes)as well as washi (obsession of mine) and some pens and stationery.  I was really pleased with the four notebooks I bought – two are dot grid and two squared.

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The Pemberley B6 Slim measures 7 ½” top to bottom x 5 1/4″ wide (when folded closed) so it is just slightly smaller than A5 which is a great size for your handbag.  I’m not sure exactly what this planner will be for – I’m thinking my every day planner as I will be able to take it to work with me and then use it for list making as well as journaling but I am only part way through my Nuuna notebook at the moment so until then I will have to find another use for it!  Any ideas?

Do you have a Chic Sparrow?  Or maybe a FoxyFix – the latter was also on my list but the one I wanted was not available, so I went for the Chic Sparrow.  What’s your favourite planner?  I’d love to know, so leave me a comment below.

Happy Planning!

Jane 💛

 

Bullet Journal – Styles for Weeklies & Dailies

As we all know in this amazing Bullet Journaling community, there are no rights and wrongs – each person has their own style, whether it be pared down and simplified or colourful and detailed, both are right and both are fine if that’s the look you want to achieve.

I find that sometimes I want to do more of an ‘art’ page for my dailies and sometimes more journaling – the huge benefit of a blank notebook and a few pens is that  you can do exactly that – just turn the page and start afresh.

I still like my pages to be practical though, which is why I always include a weekly page, so that I can see at a glance what I have to do and what I have coming up the following week – although I still include a pop of colour because I can’t help myself!

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I also love a bit of washi tape to decorate my pages – in fact, it’s a bit of an obsession with me – it’s all so pretty and there’s so much of it – what’s a girl to do 😉

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I do try to stick with a colour theme though as this makes each day stand out so you can see at a glance what you need to do.

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My weekly is a bit of a ‘moving feast’ as I amend it as I go and tick off the things I have achieved, adding in other things that come up as the week progresses.

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There are so many inspiring accounts on Instagram and my art style pages are put together with ideas from other photos on Instagram and Pinterest that I find to inspire me – particularly @sdionbakerdesign (whom I could never emulate if I tried!) and also @digplans , @helen.c.stark and @jose_naranja (stunning work).

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I love to use stickers (and yet more washi) and catalogue the day, filing snippets of my life which are interesting (to me).  And that’s the point – I journal because it gives me pleasure, because I like to write a few words on the days events and because I would like to look back in the years to come and smile at the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

Why do you journal?  Who’s your inspiration?  I’d love to know so please leave me a comment – I may well find some new ‘inspirers’ to follow.  Have a great weekend.

Jane 💛

Instagram Madness and So Much Love 💖

The whole Bullet Journal community on Instagram and Facebook and elsewhere is simply amazing – I have ‘virtually’ met the kindest, most complimentary, supportive and downright gorgeous people in the whole wide world – and I mean the World as they are from all parts of the globe.

This week saw my ‘following’ on Instagram hit 1500 people, which amazes and humbles me – I’m so grateful that there are that many people interested in what I do and the artistic creativity and inspiration this provides is awesome.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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Through the InCoWriMo challenge (not strictly an Instagram thing but showcased there) I have had ‘snail mail’ from around the world and this culminated this week in two of my favourite Insta mates, Helen (@journalwithpurpose) and Jacqui (@nutmeg_cottage) sending me the most amazing stash of goodies, including stickers, paper and a beautiful handmade art journal which takes pride of place in my Startbay Notebook!

All of these amazing people share a common interest in journaling and are extraordinary with their support and praise which, although virtual, makes this one of the best communities to belong to on the whole wide web!  Sorry for the gushing, but it is so heartfelt!

Here is some of the amazing goodies I have received:

@journalwithpurpose on Instagram – check out Helen’s amazing feed….

@nutmeg_cottage – and Jacqui’s amazing work can also be found on Instagram.

Have a lovely weekend, one and all and make sure you share the love! 💖

Jane 💛

Are You Joining In?

I decided that during February 2017 I would participate in InCoWriMo.  What? you ask – well it’s a writing challenge where you send a piece of snail mail (in the post, with a stamp, real, not virtual) to a different person each day for a month.  And it’s been a challenge alright!

However, it’s also been a huge amount of fun.  I’ve posted to Australia, Canada, USA and France as well as here in the UK and at the same time received some amazing messages from people who chose to write to me.

And I’ve had lots of fun making cards and little pieces of art to enclose with my letters. Who said the art of letter writing was dead!  Well, not in the journaling community.  Here it is thriving and long may it continue!

Now I just need a challenge in March!  Any ideas?

Jane 💛

Happy Mail – Sent with Love 💖

If, like me, you love your Bullet Journal and enjoy brightening it up then the motivational cards I made for mine will be just the thing to inspire you.  Mixed media art, which is how these are made, means that you can utilise scraps of paper from around the home and in magazines, and with a bit of paint, flair and imagination, turn them into little cards to remind you of the good things in life!  And they are such fun to make.

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The sky is the limit – add paint, stencils, hand lettering or stickers and then use them as inserts in your journal.  You could also send them as cards to a friend who needs a hug or just to brighten up their day.

If you don’t want to add any words, then just use some watercolours and permanent micron pens, add a bit of glitter and  you have a card,  made with love and ready to send in the post – happy mail at its best. 😄

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Have a lovely Saturday

Jane 💛