Soothing The Spirit Through Art

I recently had to undergo some medical procedures and wait, not so patiently, for the results. It was a difficult time and try as I might to not think about it, sometimes the fears and worries would start to take over. The results are in and while I still have some things to take care of, the major scare is over, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about my profound sense of gratitude.

I’m thankful to be able to pursue my creative passions and more grateful than ever that my Beloved not only supports me, but encourages me to turn to my art during those times when I need to soothe my restless spirit.

I spent a lot of time in my art studio during those days of waiting, often times with no other intention than to just keep busy, to not think. And while Patrick is incredibly supportive and offers me a great deal of comfort, there were times when I just needed to lose myself in my art for a while and that’s something he understood. It’s just one of the many reasons I love Him so.

2014-11-11 19.27.19

Yesterday I received a gift at work that had this “Every Day Is A Gift” tag attached and it really resonated with me so I went home and sat down to play in my journal. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to incorporate the tag, the rest just developed from a combination of stamps, doodle, paint, a love of art journaling and a whole lot of gratitude.

2014-11-11 19.26.17

2014-11-12 06.54.11

2014-11-12 06.53.52

My recent scare and this tag is a great reminder that Every Day Is A Gift and I plan to live each one of them Out Loud!

Jewel Tone Tags With Alcohol Inks and Aluminum Foil

I created this tag using alcohol Inks, aluminum foil, a craft tag, embossing folder and my Texture Boutique. You can achieve gorgeous, vibrant jewel tones with alcohol inks on tags, backgrounds, glass, metal. I created a tag, I think it’ll look great on holiday package.

If you don’t have an embosser, no worries. Towards the end of this post I share a different technique you can try.

2014-11-08 12.35.23

I covered a craft tag with aluminum foil that I had in the kitchen and secured it using a bit of Scor-Tape on the back.

2014-11-08 12.19.04

Next I placed it in an embossing folder and ran it through my Texture Boutique, removed it and dropped alcohol inks straight onto the embossed tag, allowing the colors to pool and blend on their own. I didn’t use any blending solution, but if you find you need some and don’t have any on hand, alcohol can be used in a pinch.

2014-11-08 13.27.51

These are the Ranger Inks that I used for this tag

Next I just let it dry completely and added a ribbon to it!

2014-11-08 12.47.51As promised, if you don’t have an embosser, here’s a different technique that you can use to create a tag, an ATC, or even cover a canvas. I chose to work with an ATC, a small piece of aluminum foil and 3 more Ranger Inks.

2014-11-01 15.40.49 2014-11-01 15.52.26 I wadded up the aluminum foil into a ball, flattened it out a bit and covered my ATC, folding the edges around back.

2014-11-01 15.54.11 2014-11-01 16.12.51 Just as in the technique I shared above, I dropped alcohol ink straight onto the ATC, allowing the colors to pool and blend on their own. Again, I didn’t use blending solution.

2014-11-05 07.05.11

What I ended up with, when dry, was a beautifully vibrant background accentuated by the metallic folds of the foil.


You might also like:

It’s Giveaway Time On The Blog!!


That’s right, all you Documented Lifers or those wanting to get started, Art & Whimsy is giving away, to one Lucky Follower, The Documented Life Project’s Cover Story Workshop!

*The workshop was created for The Documented Life Project 2015: The Journal but suitable for any journal cover.


To Enter: You Must be following the blog at AND leave a comment telling us what having a creative outlet like art journaling,  scrapbooking, etc has done for you.

That’s it…easy peasy!

Our giveaway is open worldwide and will run until November 22nd, when the WINNER will be announced!

To find out more about The Documented Life Project or the Amazing ladies at Art to the 5th, it can be found Here.

A Journey of 100 Faces

As I previously shared, I’ll be participating in Life Book 2015, beginning Jan 1st. After exchanging a couple of messages with Tam and confirming that painting faces is a significant portion of Life Book, I decided that I would learn to draw a face.

Enter Dina Wakley. It’s no secret how much I love, love, love her acrylic paints and stamps or that I’m her #1 fan girl, but I’m also really drawn to her scribbly style faces and their vibrant splashes of color. So I contacted her to see if she’d be in San Diego anytime soon. I struck out there, but she did tell me about her online class called “Facing the Facts”.

In it she offers great tips, talks about common mistakes that beginners tend to make and offers ways to correct them. She also says that getting good at faces, or anything really, takes practice and encourages us to commit to 100 faces, beginning with our first face that we’re to sketch before watching the first video.

So I did. I got my reference, just like she suggests and gave myself a couple of minutes to sketch it.

Here she is (OMG, am I seriously sharing this in public?!):


After I sketched her I watched Dina’s first lesson and listened to her talk about those common rookie mistakes like my “joker’s mouth”, “overdrawn hair” and the dreaded “fully visible iris”. In short… YIKES!
But hey, no worries, right? It’s only face #1 out of 100… 99 more opportunities to improve.

This morning I decided to sketch face #2, using the tips offered in Face the Facts and can already see improvement. Ok still lots of room for improvement, but wow, what a difference already!


I’m seriously glad that I decided to take Dina’s class and recommend it to anyone. 98 faces to go and I’m looking forward to seeing my development documented in my sketch book.

Documented Life – Week 45

This week’s challenge was to incorporate a Tab onto our page, so in an homage to Dyan Reaveley, who will be adding to our DLP fun for 2015, I created a collage using an image of a bottle of Tab soda and a face that I printed from the internet.

The background was made with Dylusions Inks, some stencils I had on hand, “collaged hearts” stamps by Dina Wakley, acrylic paint and my own doodles. Lastly, I stamped on a personal affirmation.2014-11-02 09.59.39

2014-11-02 11.25.14 - Copy

2014-11-03 06.59.06 2014-11-03 07.02.56




My First ATC

I was recently part of a hand-carved stamp swap in the Stamp Carvers/Printmakers group on Facebook and received a fun little background stamp carved by the lovely Theresa Magladry. She named it “Wonky Circles”.

2014-11-02 10.16.18

Part of the swap was to create a piece of art using the stamp that our swap partner sent us and send it to them. I was excited to put it to good use so I decided to make my first ATC.

I created this one, which I call “Metamorphosis”, using Ranger distress inks, a Dyan Reaveley border stamp, some bits that I had in my stash, Authentique text stickers that I talked about in yesterday’s post and of course my awesome new Wonky Circles stamp!

2014-11-01 11.39.28

2014-11-01 11.40.08

You can see the cool background pattern created using Wonky Circles. Thank you so much Theresa; I hope you enjoy the ATC. I LOVE the stamp and know that it will be one I use time and time again!

A quick little side note for any ATC artists. I found this stamp, by Donna Salazar the other day, which you might find handy.

2014-11-01 11.41.42

2014-11-01 11.43.27

Using Your Words

The amount of journaling that I include onto my art journal pages varies. Sometimes it takes lots and lots of writing to express what I’m feeling, but more often than not, a word or two will do the trick.

Usually I’ll flip through old books that I keep specifically for this purpose, looking for just the right words to cut out. Thing is, that can take a lot of time and that’s time I could be spending making pretty things, so I’m forever on the lookout for new text stickers to use in my paper crafting projects.

Imagine my delight when I walked into The Making Place Escondido and came across these beauties! I don’t know if they’re NEW new, but they’re sure new to me and I scooped them up as fast as I could.

2014-11-01 08.08.54

These are “Tiny Text” by Cosmo Cricket and I adore them. I like the font and how the letters are just a bit askew and the words and sentiments are fun and fresh.

I would definitely encourage you to shop around for a good price though. They’re listed on Amazon priced anywhere from $5 – $10 each! That’s just crazy talk right there, if you ask me. I paid $1.69. 2014-11-01 08.10.30

These are “Petite Diction” by Authentique. Different in style than Tiny Text, but I love them just the same!  Each sheet has a theme; shown here are “Adventure”, “Harmony” and “Favorite”. The words and sentiments on each sheet correlate to the theme, which makes it easy when I’m trying to convey a particular feeling or positive affirmation.

Again I encourage you to shop around. Amazon is selling them for just under $5. I paid $1.39.


Music For The Eyes

Although it wasn’t a day that I celebrated growing up, I’ve always been drawn to the design aesthetic of Dia De Los Muertos in art and fashion. With the holiday just a few days away, I see creative inspiration all around me and am thankful to have the freedom to express that appreciation for the celebration in my own art.

Yesterday, when I received a copy of the San Diego Symphony brochure in the mail, I just knew there was a collage in the making.

I created this one using a cut-out from the brochure, Ranger Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Inks, one of her stamps, my October stencils from Stencil Club, designed by Mary Beth Shaw and the Scratches texture stamp by Darkroom Door.


Using a blending tool and distressed inks, I gave my violinist’s skull an aged look and spruced her up for her big night at the symphony using gelly roll pens.

For the sentiment I used gothic style letters that I picked up at a local store and some rub-ons, for added visual interest.

These are the Dylusions Inks that I used for this journal layout:

2014-10-30 08.57.55

Supplies used:

Dylusions Pin Up Queen stamp set

Stencil Club October stencils designed by Mary Beth Shaw

Scratches stamp

Ranger Distress Inks, Mini

Gelly Roll pens

Documented Life Project – Week 44

This week’s challenge was to incorporate leaves. I had originally wanted to create botanical gelli prints, but I just couldn’t find a good selection of leaves where we live in San Diego so I turned to a 12×12 Balzer Designs template that I love by Crafters Workshop.

Using a brayer, I rolled on a layer of fluorescent pink and yellow acrylic paint onto my 8×10 gelli printing plate and placed the stencil over it to pull a print onto cardstock.

Picking up the stencil, I rolled on a layer of black onto my gelli plate and laid the stencil down again, being careful to match the original placement as best as possible, and put my print back on top to pull another print over the stencil.

I’m super pleased with the results. Can I just say again how MUCH I love my gelli plate!


For the middle page, I first prepped my journal page with black gesso and set it aside to dry. Adding some more fluorescent pink and yellow acrylic to the gelli plate, I pulled a print using deli paper. If you haven’t tried using deli paper I highly recommend it, especially for layering it over other mediums.

Next, using a different template by Crafters Workshop, I pulled 2 prints using black paint, onto separate pieces of cardstock and set them aside for use in later projects.

Using the same deli paper print that I had previously used, I pulled a ghost print of what was left on my printing plate. I really enjoy the subtle, gradual look that ghost prints yield and often find that I like them better than the original print.

After trimming the deli paper to size, I used a little fluid medium to adhere it to my page.

I’m often tempted to go with the “a little is great, more is better” concept, so this time I made a conscious decision to declare the page finished and let the subtlety of the ghost print shine.


Supplies Used:

Art Deco Leaf template

Flower Frenzy template

Gelli Plate




You might also like:

La Catrina Calavera – Dia De Los Muertos

I was inspired to create this by Calavera Catrina, a famous work of art by Jose Guadalupe Posada who was originally created by him as social satire. She became an icon of Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, a holiday that originated in Mexico but is now celebrated in many parts of the world. Dia De Los Muertos is a time to rejoice in memories of loved ones who have passed.


I started with a base of tissue paper “newsprint” and fluid medium.


Next, I mixed up some “Chalk It Up” chalk dust into my chosen colors of paint and gave my page a light wash. I love this stuff, it makes your paint into chalk paint and can be used on many different surfaces. I used it here to create added texture to my page.



I printed a skull that I liked off the internet onto 110 lb cardstock and gave it a coating of sealer so the ink wouldn’t smear. When it was dry I painted the sugar skull face using my Posca Paint Markers and cut out some roses from scrapbook paper, giving them some dimension by crumbling up the top later of roses in my hand. For the lettering I turned to my trusty Silhouette Portrait.


For the final touches I used gelatos, my favorite crackle stamp by Dark Room Door and dabbed some ink on through a piece of punchinela.



1 18 19 20 21 22 23

%d bloggers like this: