Blog: A Look Back

A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 18 – Inspired By Love

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at drawing inspiration from that universal emotion – Love. I like to use quotes for my art journaling because hey, sometimes a powerful quote exactly captures what I am feeling. Love is something that inspires me again and again and if you happen to look for quotes, you will see that there are plenty to choose from. I thought sharing some of my art journal pages through the years would be fun here.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams

In 2014 I created this page using my Crackle stencil and spray paint.

“Live, Laugh, Love”

In 2016 I played with my Versailles foam stamps, acrylic paint, and a big tag in this art journal spread.

“Courage, like love, circles back around and finds us again. Love, like courage, only blooms when there exists so many reasons to be afraid.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

In 2017 I created a big cityscape using my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 rubber stamp sets, along with watercolors in this spread.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”

In this bold spread from Valentine’s Day in 2018 I used some transfers of a photo of my great-aunt Margot and my great-uncle Hans, along with my Love Tag, Tread, and Grannies rubber stamps.

“Love is love is love.”

In 2019 I created this rainbow flag in my art journal using a whole bunch of my rubber stamps (see supplies below) and Moonlight Duo ink pads.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 16 – Visual Texture

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at creating Visual Texture. This is one of my favorite tricks – creating the illusion of texture on a page using various tools and media. I love how you can fool the eye into thinking that an image or pattern has dimension to it, just by how it’s created. Below are 5 ways to experiment with it in this Look Back.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is a trick to do with some ArtFoamies foam stamps from this post in my Foam Stamplifier series – just stamp the foam stamp (here I’m using my Mini Hex set) with Distress Oxide inks and then spritz with water. When you lift away the water droplets with a paper towel you will reveal some beautiful visual texture.

 

Next is just using the right stamps – like my Cardboard rubber stamps that I’m using here in this art journal page. These stamps totally capture all the cool cardboard textures out there.

 

If you have stencils and a graphite stick or crayon around, you can try creating visual texture with frottage – rubbing! I used this technique along with my Batik stencil for this page in my Stencilbop Challenge. Check it out!

 

Another way to achieve the look of big texture with stencils is to use a few different colors of spray paint like I have here in this art journal page. I’m using my Hamilton stencil and just by moving it slightly and using spray paint I can create the illusion of a third dimension.

 

Finally, the visual texture that you can create using a hand carved stamp is really quite effective. I carved a large street scene for the stamp I used in this art journal page and just love the rough woodcut aesthetic of it.


I hope you enjoyed this look back and maybe it inspired you to give something new a try :)

Here are some of the supplies I used:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 15

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Art Journal Flip Through videos! I’ve been art journaling for years and have filled up quite a few. It’s kinda neat looking back through the old ones and seeing how my style has evolved. CLick on the links to visit the original posts and watch the videos.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is a Flip Through from way back in 2014. You can watch the video HERE and see what I was working on back then. There were definitely some grungy backgrounds that I still love to this day :)

 

The next one is a journal that began in late 2014 and wasn’t filled until 2017 – I was working in 4-5 journals at one time so they could take a while to fill. Check out the video HERE to see my style change over the years.

 

This one I began in 2015 and finished up in 2017 – I remember working on so many of these pages. You can watch the flip through HERE.

 

Now moving through time, this one I began in 2017 and finished in 2018. It spans the time when I traveled to Japan and I think you can see that influence in some of the pages. Watch the flip through HERE.

 

Finally I had this art journal from 2018 to 2019, so the stuff in here is still very fresh in my mind. Check out the video HERE


I hope you go back with me and watch some of these videos to see what I worked on through the years. And I hope it inspires you to look through your old art journals too. I think we can learn quite a bit by seeing where we’ve come from.


Please join me today, Friday April 17th at 12noon EST for one of my Facebook Live Kaffeeklatsch Get Together chats! I’ll be sharing a new painting and talking about some other things. Most importantly I love “seeing” all of you there and it gives me a sense of our wonderful creative community. Please come by and say Hi and let me know what you are up to :)

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 14

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Upcycled or Recycled Stuff – giving old things or maybe something you aren’t that keen on, a new life! I am a big fan or making use of things and not sending them to the landfill, and sometimes it can be a great creative exercise to give something a new look or purpose. Here are some projects that do just that :)

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is this recycled embroidery loop that I dressed up in this 2015 blog post. I used some stencils and stamps and created something that was a bit more my style as a wall piece.

Next is a series of coasters that I upcycled in this 2016 blog post. They were originally a set of not so great looking coasters with a floral motif on them. Using some acrylic paint and my Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Toledo stencils I gave them new life and even gifted them to a family member who loves them.

Here is a fun and whimsical project that Kim and I did back in 2017 that made use of a bunch of collage papers that I had on hand, as well as some scrap embroidery thread and driftwood sticks that were lying around: leaf mobiles! These were relaxing to put together and would definitely be a good kid-friendly activity too.

Here is a sweet upcycled birdhouse from Creative Squad alum Tania Ahmed. She gussied up the wood piece that was languishing in her stash with my Clam Hex and Exchange Place foam stamps. 

Finally here is a memory game created using my foam stamps and just a cheap memory set bought on amazon. Pretty easy to transform a really cheesy set into something unique and personalized.


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

Join me tomorrow, Friday March 20th on Facebook for a new little thing I’m calling Kaffeeklatsch Get Together! I’ll be doing a live broadcast at 2pm EST, sharing what I’ve been working on, saying hi to all of you, and just taking some time to have a little get together. Let’s chat about what artsy stuff we are working on and have some fun hanging out.

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 13

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Collage Papers – a fun and easy way to build layers and to bring more visual interest to your mixed media pieces. If you are like me and you don’t like anything to go to waste, read on! I have some ideas from the archive on how to use all those beautiful collage papers from your stash.

A Look Back is a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First up is a post from way back in 2014 – some canvases I made using my Elephant stencil and collage papers. Look at all the yummy patterns and textures I’ve brought together here, everything unified by the shape of the elephant.

Next up is a post from 2015 where I use some different collage papers for an abstract background element. I used acrylic paint to unify the collage with the ground.

In this 2017 post I combined my Beacon stencil with collage paper I made from cleaning the stencil (the red reverse of the image). I like this play with the pattern and its opposite.

For this Play Date in 2018 I used foam stamped collage papers to decorate Easter Eggs – a festive alternative to egg dyeing and perfect for using the bold patterns of my foam stamps.

Finally from this 2019 art journal page, I used collage papers to create the dress for my sketch. Collage papers give the dress a random pattern which always looks cool.


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 12

A Look Back – This time I’m looking at Watercolors – a fun and versatile medium to work with that can be intimidating at first, but I know you will get some good mixed media ideas for using watercolors in this post that you will want to try.

Enjoy this Look Back – a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)


First is an art journal page from 2017 where I played with creating a whole cityscape using my Stroll Through the Hood 1 and 2 stamps and then I used watercolor to bring them to life. I love using watercolors to color rubber stamped images – you can get really wild with the colors too.

Next up is a page from 2019 where I used my Mid Century Squared foam stamp with watercolor paint (on the left in this closeup pic) – yes, foam stamps can be inked up with watercolor… and it looks awesome!

In the above post from 2018 I played with watercoloring through a stencil – here my Valley Road stencil to make a card. I think it almost looks like a stained glass rose window.

Once you get comfortable using watercolors with your stamps and stencils, I also recommend you try coloring in your own pen and ink drawings with it. Here is an art journal page I did in 2018 where just a little watercolor makes the figure so much more interesting.

And finally, how about collage? For this page from 2018 I had some practice watercolor paintings I did of flowers that I wasn’t crazy about on their own… but wow do they work great as collage papers! I used it as the dress pattern under a deli paper sketch, added some rubber stamps, and there you go: instant dress :)


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 11

A Look Back – a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

This time I’m looking at Distress Inks and Distress Oxide Inks – a fun ink to play with that is very blendable and soft, and also comes in so many wonderful colors. Enjoy this Look Back!


Wow ok first is a card I made and posted about back in 2009!!! So just about 10 years ago. In it I used Distress Inks for the background, and you can see how I was able to make some beautiful transitions between those warm colors. The original blog post is here.

Now we are jumping forward to 2017 and my Artful Adventures Stroll Challenge. Here is an art journal spread I created using Distress Inks in the background and then removed ink with a baby wipe through my Manhattan and Kassel stencils. Then I went in and created a subway scene using my E-Train rubber stamp.

In 2018 I released some new stencils and in playing with them, I created this art journal page. I filled the background with Distress Oxide ink and then used a clean wet ink blending tool through my Broadway stencil to remove some of the ink.

In 2019 my Creative Squad member Tania Ahmed created this card using Distress Oxide inks for both the blended background and to color my Maiko stamp.

Finally, in May of this year as I was playing along with the Stencilfied Journal challenge, I created this art journal spread. I used Distress inks along with my Chicago stencil.


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 10

A Look Back – a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

This time I’m looking at Pan Pastels – a medium I have been playing with for years and always find myself returning to on occasion. Here’s a look back at some of the ways I’ve used them over the years. Enjoy!


First up is a resist technique I show in a video from 2013. I use rubber stamps, embossing powder, and pan pastels. Check it out here.

Also from 2013 is this art journal page where I experimented with some metallic pan pastels for a little sparkle here and there. 

Jumping forward to 2018, I also used metallic pan pastels – this time with my Versailles stencil on a black background for some real drama :) You can check out the full post here.

Later that year I had a playdate with Kim and we used pan pastels with stencils (here my Downtown stencil) on paper clay for some napkin rings – that was a pretty cool and simple project. See how we did it and check out our gorgeous tablescapes in the original post.

Finally just this past August for my Stencilbop Challenge, I show the simple joy of using pan pastels with your stencils – they make it easy to blend colors and patterns for such gorgeous results. Here I was using my Manhattan stencil and my Kassel stencil.


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

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A Look Back – Cool Stuff You May Have Missed 09

A Look Back – a blog series to show you some projects and posts that you may have missed – sometimes going WAY back in the archive. I think it will be fun to revisit a few ideas that we haven’t seen for a while. I’m excited to see how a little look back might inspire something new in the future :)

This time I’m looking at Gesso – yes that mixed media essential in my opinion. It has so many fun qualities and uses that it’s time to celebrate the powers of Gesso!!! Here’s a look back at some of the ways I’ve used it over the years. Enjoy!


 

Let’s start with the basics – why I call Gesso a Must-Have. I wrote this post back in 2015 but my feelings haven’t changed. Check out the original post for a really nice overview of the medium and some examples of it in action, as well as why I sometimes affectionately call it Dumbledore!

In 2015 I also shot a fun video showing Gesso and Acrylic Inks working together for background bliss. Check out the original post here to watch me create a textured background that gets layered up with luscious colored inks.

Let’s talk Black Gesso. Wow this is definitely the stuff I go to for BOLD backgrounds. If you want a patterned stencil (like my Exchange Place stencil here) to POP, Black Gesso is your BFF. Check out this post from 2018 for the full art journal spread to see why Black Gesso is just as essential as white.

And then there is Gold Gesso! Who isn’t a sucker for a bit of shiny metallic gold? I love to use it like I have here with my Amsterdam stencil – just a bit of high impact Gold Gesso pattern to adorn this art journal spread from 2018.

Looking waaaay back to 2012 for this one folks :)  I had a LOT of the same kind of black felt letters and decided to spruce them up in this vintage post with… you guessed it: Gesso! Gesso is fantastic for covering stuff up and giving you a nice surface for almost any kind of media on top. In this case, some markers. So thank you Gesso for helping me give these letters new life.

Speaking of covering things up – how about this art journal spread from 2017 where I use Gesso to tone down that extra hot background just a tad to give me a spot for journaling. Gesso is perfect for covering and giving a visual break from a wild background.


I hope you enjoyed A Look Back through my archive and maybe you are inspired to try some different things now too.

Here are some of the supplies I used in these posts:

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