Archive of ‘art-journaling’ category

Why Not “Beautiful”?

Hello lovelies. September already, can you believe it? The years just seem to fly by. One minute it’s spring and the next… Pumpkin. Spice. Everything! 🙂

My blog posts generally revolve around art supplies, techniques and my newest faves. I don’t usually delve into anything too personal, but today’s post is going to be a little bit different.

I recently received some wonderful birthday gifts from my dear friend, Angel. Among them was the most amazing stamp set from Felicity Jane, called “I AM…” The set is currently sold out, but if you ever have an opportunity to snag it somewhere, Ebay, Etsy, or even one of the swap groups on Facebook, I encourage you to go for it.

As a side note, Simple Stories also has a wonderful collection, by the same name, available HERE.

“I am”… they are two small words that possess a great deal of power. I very much believe that our thoughts help shape our reality, so it stands to reason that the words we put after “I am” will help shape ours.

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As I worked through the creation of this page and looked over the various words in the set I realized that I felt much more comfortable using certain words to describe myself versus others.

  • Kind? Yes.
  • Loveable? Yep.
  • Creative? Sure.
  • Imperfect? Oh, you betcha!
  • Beautiful? No way.

Yet I kept coming back to that same word… “beautiful” and it got me to thinking, “why not?” Why do I cringe at the thought of calling myself beautiful? It’s not because my face is too round, I’m shorter than average or because I’m carrying around some extra weight. I mean, I can see that I don’t resemble the women in the magazines who are considered beauties, but it’s not that. Aside from working on losing some extra weight, I’m generally fine with myself.

So then why? I thought about this as I layered, painted and doodled my page, and then it came to me. Because I was told I wasn’t. Maybe not in those exact words, but for as far back as I can remember, the message was there… it was just disguised as “teasing”. Nick names, jokes, and as I got older, “helpful” suggestions and back-handed compliments. I don’t think it was always meant to be hurtful, but over time it and without me even realizing it, it sure came to be.

I’ve worked hard to unpack some old baggage that I’ve been carrying around and set personal boundaries to determine what I want in my life and what I can do without. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve made a good deal of progress. My Beloved, Patrick, has been my rock through all of this. His support has helped me keep going when things have gotten tough and his strength has helped me overcome initial pangs of guilt when I’ve had to enforce my boundaries.

As I thought about all this and continued to work in my art journal I was reminded that although we may not have a lot of control over the “reality” that is shaped for us as children, we sure as heck have some control over it as adults. We help shape our own reality and it begins with our thoughts, so I decided to reshape mine. I decided to claim the word “beautiful” and feel comfortable describing myself that way. Not based of appearance, I am so much more than what I see in the mirror. But I AM a beautiful person. I AM kind, loveable, creative, imperfect AND Beautiful. I am beautifully unique and so are you.

Today I invite you to give some thought to who you are and who you want to be. Take a few moments to make some “I Am” statements of your own. However we want to feel and whatever we want to achieve, it begins with us. We are each a person of value and have the power to shape our own reality.

Thanks you for reading and for taking a few minutes to share in my personal story.

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I wish you a beautiful week.

xo,

Belen

Be Brave

Lately, it seems that I’ve been so focused on my Etsy shop, happy mail and swapping pocket letters that I haven’t made time to art just for me, so I sat down with my art journal and allowed myself time to collage and push some paint around.

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I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t art journaled in a while or what, but I really struggled with this spread.

It took me several days of working in short bursts, doubting myself every step of the way, to finally get it to a place that I liked.

But before that happened it went through several awkward stages that only served to fuel my inner critic. I was tempted to scrap the whole thing more than a few times until I decided to trust in the process and Be Brave.

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2015-06-18 07.40.21And finally….

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Through the process of creating this spread, I was reminded of the importance of taking time to art just for me. My art journals are an extension of myself, a form of self-expression. They are a place for me to release ideas, thoughts, experiences and emotions with the intention of gaining self awareness and a better understanding of the world around me.

It’s not always easy, sometimes you just have to Be Brave and allow yourself to go wherever the paint takes you.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

xoxo

 

Supplies used in the Spread: Dina Wakley Collaged Hearts stamps and Spinners stencil. Prima Circular Lattice stencil, Daler-Rowney Acrylic Inks.

In My Art Journal

This is a departure from my usual style but it was fun and seemed to help sort out the stresses of the work week.

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I used gesso in black and white, acrylics, modeling paste and a few different stencils, including a Dec 2014 StencilClub stencil from StencilGirl.

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Thanks for looking!

Arte, Musica e Vino

In a nod to my love of all things Italian, I created this latest art journal page. I call it, “La Trinità … Arte, Musica e Vino”, which translates into “The Trinity… Art, Music and Wine”.
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I started with a base of gelatos, from the Steampunk set, and gesso in my Strathmore Journal to soften them a bit. Using a crackle stamp by Darkroom Door and Staz-On ink, I added some visual texture for added depth.
Walnut Ink and Dina Wakley media acrylic, in Gilt, helped give the page an aged look.
2015-05-07 06.34.28A paper napkin and torn bits of vintage music sheet made great collage elements.
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I stamped some Staz-On Ink, in Ganache, over this fabulous stencil by Fabscraps, that I just got from Blitsy.
I LOVE this stencil and see myself using it a lot!
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I added a chipboard embellishment and a few gold stars to finish off the page.
Thanks for looking.
Ciao Bella!

Finding Balance

Good morning my lovelies!

I received a couple of messages from people asking me to show how I use the packing tape transfers that I blogged about in yesterday’s post, so I created a quick journal page before bed to give you an example of just one way to use them.

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For this page I applied a base of gloriously vibrant Dylusions Paints using a round blending tool by Ranger and made some misc marks with texture stamps by Darkroom Door and Staz-on ink.

For the focal point I used one of my new Donna Downey stencils, called Find Balance, and sponged on some Dina Wakley acrylic in “Night” though it.

A few more marks, doodles, and splatters and I was ready to incorporate a piece of packing tape transfer to finish it all off.

Using scissors I “wavy cut” a strip of transfer in half and applied it with gel medium. As you can see, I’ve used is as an accent, but you certainly can bring them front and center and use them as I’ve of your main design elements.

This is just one way to use the transfers. You can incorporate them into your art journal spreads, like I did here, add them to your greeting cards, mixed media projects and various other crafts. However you use them, have fun!

Wishing you a colorful weekend!

 

Beautiful Soul

Being sick this weekend left me with lots of time for arting so I’ve been busy in my studio creating. That’s still considered “resting”, right? 🙂

2015-04-05 12.49.01I started with a gelli print that I pulled using a StencilGirl stencil, from the November 2014 monthly subscription and adhered that to my journal page.

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I recently discovered some wonderful Donna Downey stencils on Esty and couldn’t resist. I used one of my favorite, Poppy Collage and stenciled that over the gelli print using night, a really dark blue acrylic.

Since my print was a tad smaller that my journal page, I used Faber Castell gelatos, some markers and paint to fill in the edges around the print and give the page a more cohesive look.

Next, for some added texture, I used some punchinella and randomly dabbed another layer of paint through it.

2015-04-05 12.47.24The page was almost done, but I felt it that it needed a pop of something so I used that same piece of punchinella and some old book paper to add a little embellishment to the corners and then finished it off with a sentiment that I had in my scrapbook stash.

Thank you for looking and however you chose to spend this day, I wish you a great one.

 

Dirty Girl

I was recently inspired by the work of Juliette Crane, a wonderful artist that paints an array of whimsical characters that just make me feel happy when I see them.

Side Note: Juliette has an upcoming online class called “Happy Painting – A Mini Course” that I’m excited be enrolled in. registration is now open and the class begins on April 27th. To find out more about Juliette, her work or her many classes, it can be found HERE.

So, as I said, having been inspired by Juliette’s whimsical characters and the ease with which she roughly sketches them out, I decided to give it a go myself. 2015-04-04 12.55.55I call this piece/page “Dirty Girl”, because as the sentiment says, “A flower cannot grow without getting dirty.” 2015-04-04 12.56.57 Using a sponge brush, I roughly laid a base of Pebeo Studio Acrylics, which I love for their subtle iridescent properties.

Without even letting it really dry, because I’m impatient like that, I sketched everything out using a Stabilo Marks All. and just went to town working the paint and adding layers until it turned into something that I rather liked. 2015-04-04 12.56.28I finished it off with a few stars sponged through a Tim Holtz stars stencil and called it a day.

This was definitely a departure from most of the mixed media art journaling I’ve been doing and I really enjoyed the process and the ease with which the process flowed for me.

I encourage you to check out Juliette Crane’s work and as always, thank you for following me on Art & Whimsy.

Art Journal Mini Travel Kit

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A recent weekend getaway to Santa Barbara, with my Beloved, inspired me to put together a mini art journal travel kit.

When we travel I don’t spend time art journaling, but upon our return I like to put together a small daybook, or mini journal, to document our getaway. I add things such as notes, memorable moments, a few favorite photos and various bits of ephemera.

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Having a compact, self-contained kit that I can just toss in my weekend bag, is the perfect little take along for putting together my daybooks during quite moments in our hotel room.

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A couple of months ago I purchased these zip folios from Webster’s Pages. They have several gorgeous colors available, I bought 2 of them. For this kit I used the teal folio.

So what’s in my kit you ask? Surprisingly a lot, considering that the folio only measures 5.25″ x 8″ x 0.5″, but basically it contains what I consider to be my art journaling must-haves.

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  • Water brush
  • Stabilo Marks All pencils – black & blue
  • Fude Ball pen 1.5 – black
  • Uni-ball Signo pen – white
  • Sharpie Extra Fine Paint Pen – white
  • Molotow markers – black & white

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  • Day book/mini journal – Handmade, see process HERE
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Gelatos – I like Faber Castell
  • Text stickers
  • Misc journal cards and hearts that I cut from a sheet of under paper
  • Washi Tape – Handmade, see process HERE

If I want to get really fancy, I my take along a larger wire bound handmade daybook, such as this one that I made using Project Life journal cards.

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You can read about the process for making those HERE.

What you add to your own kit may vary according to your needs, but it’s amazing to see what you can create with just a few basic supplies.

Thanks for reading, I hope this post has inspired you to put together your own art journal travel kit.

I wish you all a wonderful week.

Happy Mail – Mixed Media In Minutes

Two days ago I went to my post office box, expecting the drudgery of sorting through a week’s worth of junk mail & bills, when I spotted it. It had giant fuchsia polka dots, pink packing tape and it was mine, mine, all mine. Happy Mail for me from the lovely Ms. Micheal A. Hodge!!

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I ripped it open with glee… junk mail and bills quickly forgotten… and inside I found a treasure trove of ephemera and misc. bits that she so thoughtfully sent me.

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Having been inspired by my Happy Mail, I decided to enjoy a few minutes creating mixed media this morning. I started with a base of Dyslusions sprays and made some circles using the bottom of the bottles.

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Then using some of the contents of the envelope, as well as some of my own bits, pens and Stabilo Pencil, I created this page in just 15 minutes before work.

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Thank you, Micheal. Not just for the fantastic package of goodies, which I love, but also for the inspiration that you provided. Inspiration that had been lacking as of late.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend full of color!

 

 

Wonderland

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post or art journaling in general, really. So last night I sat down for a few minutes with my journal and some Alice In Wonderland paper dolls that I got from Stampington & Company.

I was a little hesitant, not having done much art other than #30Lists as of late, so I made a point to sit and play without pressure and decided that I would not dwell over anything that didn’t turn out as planned on my page.

I will warn you in advance that my page contains profanity, so if that offends you, you may want to skip this one 🙂

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Thanks for looking, I wish you a happy week.

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