Sunday, March 18, 2012

Colorful "Stash style" cover for Art Journals

     Several people have asked for more detail on how to create the journal cover I used for the front of my book 'Stash and Smash'. Here's the trick, I use both my fingers and a palette knife to apply the paint. If I use a brush it looks too blended for me. I make sure each layer is dry before adding a second color on top, and keep a baby wipe handy to scrub away a small portion of the paint.

     The base I used is chipboard, or in my case the back of an old watercolor tablet. I cut it to desired size for my journal and apply two coats of gesso to each side. One coat of gesso horizontal, when dry the second coat vertically...more texture that way.

     I then apply sheet music and colored tissue paper with Golden matte medium.

     Using my fingers I add patches of heavy body acrylic paint all over the cover, more of a "hit and miss" style of application rather than lines of color. When this layer is dry I use a palette knife to skim over portions of the previously applied paint. Sometimes I will add a third layer on top, it just depends on how I feel about the overall look of color.


     When these layers of paint are dry I add white tissue papers which have been stamped with a couple of my favorite stamps, the eye and the crisscross pattern are both on tissue paper.

     I use heavy gel medium to add the wine bottle eyelashes, as well as the coin, plastic palm tree and El Musico card in the picture below.

     The matchbox cover and other paper ephemera are stuck on with duck tape. After all the objects are affixed to the journal cover I use my fingers to lightly blend paint colors over them so the piece will seem more cohesive.

  The last step is regular stamps (I always use Staz-On ink pads since they are permanent) and a white gel pen for embellishments.

  I bind this type of journal one of two ways.
     Punch holes in it and use binder rings or bind it with a Zutter or other spiral binding machine. You can also take it to your local office supply for spiral biinding. If you do take it to the office supply be sure the side to be bound is flush, they are not able to bind irregular shaped journals.....I found this out the hard way!!
     Tip: Add watercolor paper, scrap paper and old art pieces cut to size as journal pages.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Journal, journal, journal.

Seems that's all I do these days. I look forward to creating in my journals every day. It's been a really busy week for me - I've taught two "Stash and Smash" journal classes - my husband was in the hospital for knee replacement - and don't even get me started on everything else my week held. Thank goodness for journaling, it's a great way for me to unwind and let go of it all.

                                                                CHA make and take.

I really enjoy sharing my journal ideas with others. Making them from recycled materials seems to take the pressure off...less fear of your art not being worthy...or some such thing. The recycle journals I make are from paper bags and old envelopes - free stuff! I add gesso, paints, papers, images and  markers to really layer them up. A lot of my images come from old magazines. I love this one it reminds me of one of my favorite, fun songs - "On Top of Spaghetti" - remember that one?

                                                                Recycled journal page

At the end of January I attended the Craft and Hobby Association conference to premiere my new book Stash and Smash ... art journal ideas. It was wonderful...Sandy Steen Bartholomew was there doing make and takes as well as Mark Montano and Joanne Fink. Suzanne McNeill received a much deserved  Industry Achievement Award. Mark Montano even set in on one of my make and exciting, he is a real sweetheart.

                                   Sandy Bartholomew, Suzanne McNeill, me, Mark Montano.