stencils stamps & masks combined

I love combining stencils, stamps and masks.

Marvelous layers are created when using these simple tools together. Even while short on time this week, I was able to create a colorful, busy page using just a handful of supplies.

And it can't go without saying how much I love this week's prompt. Being kind is so important. I have always lived by a code that puts kindness front and center, even if it means being kind when you really don't much feel like it. Even if someone hasn't really earned it. It will matter in the end. Just be kind. 

1. Apply areas of bold color using acrylic paint. Let dry. Create a second layer using only white paint.

2. Use masks to create large areas of color. This creates a simple edge to your page giving it a bold focal point.

3. Create a layer of stencil and stamp marks. Acrylic paint and contrasting ink colors really make your layers pop.

3. Create a layer of stencil and stamp marks. Acrylic paint and contrasting ink colors really make your layers pop.

4. Add journaling to your page. I love to add white marks as a final layer. Use a scraper to "draw" lines on your layout. 

I like to walk away from my journal pages for awhile.

Coming back later, with a fresh eye, usually lends itself to new ideas, inspiration and clarity. Typically I won't add much more than a few more journaled words, some random pops of color, or another layer of detail marks.

Mark making makes me happy, and the whole process of seeing them build and build on the page is rewarding to me. For this layout, I came back in and added even more small marks with paint pens, colorful ink drips and  another stamped image. 

Fun Tip: Trying using acrylic paint on your hand carved stamps for lots of added texture. Clean promptly with a baby wipe or wet cloth. 

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seven things - week at a glance


Filling Up Another Journal

I love when I see myself getting close to the end of another journal. It means more than just finishing a book. It means progress. It means I didn't give up when it got hard. It means I made time to make art. It means I learned new techniques or practiced old ones. Art Journaling makes me feel good. A little bit at a time or long days in the studio it all adds up to making my heart happy.


Choosing New Materials

I am always experimenting with new materials when it comes to weaving. I try my best to find repurposed textiles to incorporate into these random and colorful pieces. When I found a large length of vintage floral jersey knit I couldn't wait to strip it and make it into yarn. I have used it for both weaving into pieces and most recently, for the fringe on a newer weaving. I love the texture the print seems to create. 


And Capturing them on Film

Capturing our families memories on film is a big deal to me. I want to preserve the moments that are extra special to me for all time. It makes me happy to look back at photos and see what we have recorded as noteworthy. So good or bad, I keep snapping. Phone or camera I keep taking them. And perfect or not I keep them. A photo full of movement just means we were too busy having fun to pause for that one flawless shot. 


And Heading to the Post Office

I am so happy to announce that the Boxy Bloom™ Stamp Sets have arrived and have been labeled and packed and are ready to ship! I can't stop using them and had a fun day stuffing envelopes for all of you who pre-ordered your set over the last few weeks. Knowing that these will land on the doorsteps of so many talented artists and be incorporated into their artwork thrills me to no end! I look forward to seeing all the creative ways these fun florals will be used! 


And with the Cutest Artist Ever

When she discovered she could walk last week she made a bee line for the chalkboard and she never looked back. She has kept been busy making beautiful art since. Each little scribble and mark a huge accomplishment in her eyes, in which she waits for my praise. And praise I am happy to give. She is eager to share her chalk and even more eager to have me join in. This is the kind of art that makes me the happiest of all. 


And Being Okay with Them

I have never been very good at sketching faces, but I do enjoy the trying. It is difficult and I continue to be amazed at the huge wealth of talented artists out there who can draw faces that will literally make you think they are coming to life. One of my favorite "maker of great faces" is Lynne Hoppe. She is not only talented and kind and generous, her faces are the dreamiest.  She encourages me to try and I appreciate all that she shares! 


And Her UnWavering Sense of Fun

She really is my right hand these days and I am not sure I could keep up without her. Not only does she help with all of the little day to day stuff, she is a constant and honest to good source of encouragement. She is cheerful and optimistic. She gives good advice, is honest to a fault and has a sharp and clever eye. I love all that she does to keep me smiling, laughing and moving forward.  

Masks in Art Journaling

I love using MASKS in ART. They give me the ability to write messages to myself and then hide them, cover over less than favorite parts of a page and add layers of color and texture easily.

Home made masks are a simple way to cover large areas in a short amount of time. Just cut from card stock or chipboard, or select things with interesting shapes. Leaves, pressed flowers, paper ornaments and tags all make wonderful masks. For added texture, try adding masks that have irregular shapes, lines or cuts in them, like pieces of yarn or soda can tabs.

 I am a huge fan of layering and this big mask is one of my favorites. I love the step effect created with this mask. It is a great one to use on the Gelli Plate® too! 

I start by cutting a mask from heavy duty card stock or chipboard. I free hand this, but you could sketch a design or trace something first too. Masks don't have to be full solid shapes either. My favorite masks these days are delicate drop in masks that are part of stencils like these from my recent The Happenstance & Environment Collections.

1. Spritz a printout of favorite collage piece to make the color move.
2. Cut out bits and pieces and adhere to your layout or page.
3. Position mask and paint around the edges as desired.

4. Use paint to add details to your masked areas.
5. Add a book paper element to your page.
6. Edge paper with pencil & add bright paint details.

7. Write a secret message & mask with more book paper.
8. Use brightly colored paint to add marks that pop.
9. Use paint pens to make more marks.

10. Add color to a favorite stamp with a paint pen & stamp page.
11. Add a final layer of marks and color.
12. Use a china marker to add pops of white as a final detail.

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sketchbook in progress

Sketchbook Progress Peeks. Many of these images were directly inspired from a class I took with Mary Ann Moss - read more here about Sketchbookery.

Another peek into my sketchbook. I learned so much about the in's and out's of sketching as well as how to research and educate myself on the craft from Lorraine Bell. She continues to be a huge inspiration. My other love, as you can see from the sketches above is Mary Ann Moss. She is a fun and talented teacher! 

UpCycled Napkin Rings

Sometimes my daughter and I create these fun art projects together where we challenge ourselves to upcycle random objects. A few weeks ago she challenged me to make something out these pink hair rollers. I honestly didn't have to think twice about it - napkin rings for sure!

These were super simple. Just cover your rollers with fabric. I used a hot glue gun. Add ribbon trim and a pretty clip. Add a name tag or note to your clip to personalize your table scape. I love using vintage handkerchiefs for dainty napkins when my girls and I get together. What would you make with pink hair rollers?

pretty ribbon headband

I love making headbands for my daughter, so when I had a ton of dyed ribbon left over from a weaving project recently I knew just what to create.

Here is a simple step out process if you would like to create one of your own.

I used a plastic headband, white felt & some hand dyed ribbon
Cut these wide & long enough to cover your headband. I only covered mine to within a few inches of the bottom, on either side, so it would tuck behind the ears nicely.

I used a contrasting thread and a simple straight stitch
I overlapped by rows of ribbon to prevent felt from peeking through

I used hot glue and adhered a few inches at a time
I loved these fabric birds in my stash

These are so quick and fun! I think they would make the cutest party favors or stocking stuffers. Have fun and happy creating!