Tutorial: Let’s Pretty Up Those Paint Water Containers!

Happy Wednesday to all of you. I hope that your week is off to a wonderful start.

I have a fun and easy tutorial to share with you today, using some of the great products sent to me by the folks over at Art – C. I’m going to show you how I prettied up my clean-up water jar in just a couple of minutes.

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If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may know that I’ve taken a liking to watercolor and have participated in a couple challenges and most recently a watercolor class.

Each time I sit down to push some paint around I grab a fresh cup of clean water that I use to hydrate my pigments. My brush clean-up water, on the other-hand, is a whole other matter. Sometimes it’ll sit on my desk for a couple of days before I get around to changing it.

Since we have 2 kitties, and didn’t want them getting into the dirty water, I looked for a covered container. I chose a clear jar with a hinged lid that I picked up at my local craft store. So now that I had a functional container it was time to pretty it up a bit.

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I used a ruler, scissors, a pen or pencil and adhesive canvas by Art-C.

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I eyeballed the width of the flat area of my jar and drew a line right on the canvas with my pencil.

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Then I just cut along the line.

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Now comes the fun part, playing with paint! I used Luxe paints and adhesive stencils. I really enjoyed using these paints; they’re lush and creamy. And those adhesive stencils… oh my! They are perfect for using in a project like this. They have a temporary adhesive that clings to most surfaces and then just lifts right off. I’ve even used these with watercolors and the results are unbelievable!

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I gave my canvas a quick layer of gesso then a base layer of chalk paints, to create a little extra depth.

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I first brushed some of those yummy Luxe paints through one of the larger stencils.

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Then I used a smaller stencil for variation.

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The adhesive backed alphabet stencils were great for adding some quick lettering.

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I used a couple more adhesive stencils to add a bit more visual interest.

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A few doodles and marks to jazz it up a bit then I just peeled the backing off the adhesive and stuck it right onto my jar. It was That easy!

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Now my jar looks cheery and colorful sitting on my desk and offers me a nice reminder to “Get Messy!”

I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial, I had fun sharing it with you.

As always, thank you for reading and I wish you a wonderful week!

xo,

Belen

New Planner Printables

Hey planner girls! I’ve created a few new goodies for my personal sized every day set up and want to share them with you. They can be found on the Free Planner Printables page of the blog. Enjoy!

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Bill Tracker – personal size.

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A new and improved Online Purchase Tracker – personal size.

Guess what… I also have a Silhouette cut file for you today! Since apparently I have some… “issues”… keeping track of my receipts, I created bag style envelopes, with pretty paper of course, to help me keep organized.

If you need to keep business and personal receipts separate you can add labels or tabs for your different categories as needed.

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These can be cut easily with your Silhouette. You’ll just want to download the file, unzip, open with your Silhouette & cut from your choice of pretty paper. To finish it off add some adhesive to the flaps and punch holes to fit your planner. The cut file can also be found on the Free Planner Printables page.

Oh before I forget! I recently added a new version of the Day on 2 pages that I use in my daily set up.  It’s listed as Day On 2 Pages V3. Be sure to check it out.

All planner printables are yours to enjoy, for free. All I ask is

  • Please don’t sell them or try to profit from them in any way
  • Please help me spread kindness. If you come across a fellow planner girl who might benefit from their use, please tell her about my blog and where to find the printables.

Oh! Just one more thing… I would love, love, love it, if when you use the printables and post photos to social media, if you would give me a shout out so I can show your post some love and see my creations in action.

Hugs and happy planning!

xo,

Belen

Mixed Media Tutorial: Stitched Journal Spots

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Hello lovelies. I have a pretty cool tutorial to share with you today, but first a little background. This past Christmas I received a wonderful package of hand crafted goodies from a friend and fellow artist in Canada. She’s working on getting a website up, but in the meantime check her out on Instagram. She goes by FiveFingerArtStudio. In the package she sent me she included some of her journal spots that she created using a paper bag and a colored photocopy of one of her backgrounds. I was in love with them and when I used them all up I jumped at the chance to make my own version. Five Finger Art Studio was sweet enough to let me share my take on her journal spots with you. I hope you enjoy.

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For this project I used this round journaling stamp from the Dylusions Write Between The Lines stamp set but if you don’t have one, you can just as easily draw a circle.

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Using a permanent ink, such as StazOn or Memento Luxe, stamp your circle onto whatever paper you want your base to be. I used my 2 favorite things, underpaper and book paper.

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Once your circles are stamped, use a permanent pen to doodle flower petals or a scalloped edge around the circle. The advantage to using underpaper is that your journal spots will already have fabulously random color.

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If you use book paper you’ll want to give your spots some color. you can use your media of choice. I went with Faber-Castell gelatos.

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While your media of choice sets or dries, use that same round stamp to stamp onto white paper or card stock and cut them out.

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Next cut around each of your flower journal spots.

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Using glue or gel medium, affix the stamped circle to the middle of your cut out flower. I used my handy dandy Ranger Glue Stick.

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Once the adhesive is dry, use your sewing machine to add some wonky stitching. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can draw on stitching or add doodles of your choice. I have a very reasonably priced Brother Sewing Machine that’s perfect for my mixed media projects.

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I like to leave the threads long for a more organic look, but that’s entirely up to you.

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And that’s it, your very own unique, stitched, and oh so cool journal spots to add to your art journals and other mixed media projects.

Thanks so much for reading and a big thank you to Five Finger Art Studio for the inspiration.

Wishing you a beautiful day. Remember to make time for play.

xo,

Belen

Please note that while my posts may contain affiliate links, my reviews and opinions are my own. I purchased all of the supplies listed here and only recommend products that I personally like.

#30 Days Of Lists – Week 4 In Review

Hello friends! I have a quick share for you today. The March 2016 round of #30 Days of Lists has come to a close and I have my final week to share with you today.

As always, this was such an enjoyable challenge. I have come to really treasure those few minutes each morning where I can be creative before heading out to face the work day.

For those of you who have followed along, either here or on social media, a huge thank you and a big squishy hug!

 

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Hope you’ll consider joining me in the September round of #30DaysOfLists.

Thank you for reading!

xo,

Belen

Curious Creatures – A Transformative Experience

I recently took part in an online journaling class taught by artist and illustrator Roxanne Coble, also known as By Bun. Her class is called Creatures and encompasses various mixed media techniques to guide us in creating a 2 page spread in an altered book, regardless of your experience level.

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I was a bit intimidated to begin since her unique style is such a departure from my own but I decided to just go with it and take it slow. I ended up working on it a little each day over the course of a nearly a week.

The book that I worked in for this spread is one that I picked up at a used book store for a couple of dollars, called “Legends; The Century’s Most Unforgettable Faces”. It’s available on Amazon, HERE.

Below is the evolution of my first “Creatures” spread, enjoy.

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The creatures are coming, the creatures are coming!

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I have to say that I’ve never been a doodler, but I really enjoyed all of the doodling and mark making that went into this spread. I found it to have a meditative / centering effect on me, which I didn’t expect.

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My finished Creatures spread. I called it “Curious Creatures” because rather than these creatures seem dark and scary, they look to me like they’ve been dropped into someone’s crazy colorful dream unexpectedly. They appear to be looking around, wondering where they heck they are. They’re a little nervous but a whole lot curious and ready to explore just as soon as their other buddy arrives, he hasn’t landed yet.

This was such a fun and transformative process for me. I felt so out of my element at the start. To feel myself loosen up and begin to just roll with it as my spread developed and revealed itself to me was such an empowering experience and I’m so thankful to have had it.

I encourage you to check out Roxanne’s class and take part if you can. I think you’ll be amazed at what you can create when you embrace the creatures within.

Thank you for reading. I wish you a beautiful week.

xo,

Belen

#30 Days of Lists – Week 3 In Review

Hello friends! I’m excited to share week 3 with you today. The weeks just seem to fly by when I’m doing a #30DaysOfLists challenge. I guess it’s true, time flies when you’re having fun!

If you follow me on social media you may have noticed that my numbering went a little off the rails around day 20. I caught it on day 22 and have since gone back and corrected the numbering.

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Thanks for reading!

xo,

Belen

Art Supply Throwdown: Black Ink Pad Comparisons

Hello dear friends! A couple of days ago on Instagram, I shared a photo of an ink pad that I tried for the first time. It’s Memento Luxe by Tsukineko. I received so many questions about it that I thought I’d post a quick comparison between the black inks that I currently have on hand.

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As an art journaler who enjoys using stamps in her mixed media projects, I’m always on the lookout for permanent black ink. I like it to be juicy, dark and most of all, I want it to stay put when I brush wet mediums over it.

A few months ago I switched from StazOn to Hero Arts India Ink just to try something different. They both work great but I wanted something that stamped a little darker. Stumbling across Memento Luxe gave me the perfect opportunity to try something I was unfamiliar with.

For the purposes of this comparison I tested 3 different black ink pads.

I stamped the images onto white mixed media paper.

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Per the directions, I hit the Memento with a blast from my heat gun. I did it for about 5 seconds then brushed on Golden matte gel medium. As you can see here No Drag. Also, note how nice and dark the stamped image is!

For both the Hero Arts and the Archival ink I stamped the image on that same piece of mixed media paper and gave them 2 minutes air drying time before brushing Golden matte gel medium over.

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You can see here that there is definitely some drag going on and the stamped image isn’t quite as dark.

I’ve previously used my Hero Arts India ink for many months and have liked it. I hadn’t noticed drag, but my stamping is always over layers of paint. This test having being done on white mixed media paper allowed me to really see that it wasn’t staying put.

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The Archival Ink appears to have produced an even less dark stamped image with more smearing that even the Hero Arts.

To be honest, I haven’t used this ink too much in my art journaling as I’ve always felt that the stamped images weren’t quite as dark as I wanted them to be.

I’m currently out of StazOn ink so I didn’t include it in this test. I do have one on the way though. When it arrives I’ll be sure to test it and share the results.

Based on the three inks tested, I think you can see that the Memento Luxe produced a darker image that stayed put much better than the other two. Yes it means an extra step of hitting it with my heat gun for a few seconds, but that’s not an issue for me at all.

Before I wrap this up, just a couple of things to keep in mind with the Memento Luxe…

You’ll want to set it with your heat gun as soon as you stamp so you don’t accidentally smear it. Since the ink is so thick and juicy, it takes longer to just air dry on its own and you run the risk of running your hand over the wet ink.

Also, due to the thicker consistency of the ink, it isn’t well suited for fine detailed stamping. you’ll want a different ink pad for that, but for the types of stamps that we use in mixed media, this is a great ink in my opinion.

As I said previously, I think each of these are fine inks and have their place in your art supply stash. Me personally, I’ll keep using my India Ink from time to time but the Memento Luxe ink pad has definitely moved itself to the forefront.

Thank you for reading. I hope you’ve found this comparison helpful.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

xo,

Belen

 

Please note that while my posts may contain affiliate links, my reviews and opinions are my own. I purchase all of my own art supplies and only recommend products that I personally like.

 

#30 Days Of Lists – Week 2 In Review

Hello friends. I hope you’re having a great week, getting things accomplished and finding time to take care of you.

Life is good around here. Been busy working, living and juggling obsessions. I’m super late in sharing this with you, but here is week 2 of my 30 Days of Lists.

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Thank you for following along! If you’d like to see my posts daily, feel free to check me out on Instagram.

xo,

Belen

Tutorial: Hand Dyed Ribbon

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I have a quick little tutorial to share with you today. I’m going to show you the process that I’ve been using to dye my own ribbon. For the longest time I’ve been using sari ribbon but thanks to the gals over at Art5Academy I’ve now started using Seam Binding, which is so much more economical.

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To get started you’ll need a few supplies.

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Cut your desired lengths of ribbon.

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Place the ribbon into your plastic bag.

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Spray your choice of ink into the bag. I use Dylusions. They’re wonderfully vibrant and blend beautifully with each other. Just keep in mind that they react to moisture so you don’t want to have your ribbon come into contact with anything wet.

I would suggest to add just a few sprays of color to start, you can always add more as you go along. For the purposes of this tutorial I used Lemon Zest & Bubblegum Pink.

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Introduce other color inks for a cool effect.

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Close the bag up, taking the air out, and scrunch it up with your hands. Don’t be afraid to really manhandle it. Scrunch it, rub it between your hands. You really want to distribute the color.

If you want more color, just open up your bag and add a few more sprays and repeat the scrunching process.

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Once your ribbon has the desired color and coverage that you want, just turn it out onto some parchment paper or a Ranger craft sheet to dry.

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And that’s it, vibrant hand dyed ribbon that you can create in literally a couple of minutes.

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Use it in your art journals, craft projects, mixed media pieces, art tags, or tuck a bit of it into happy mail to really brighten someone’s day.

Thank for reading, I wish you a colorful week filled with art and whimsy.

xo,

Belen

Learning To Be Intentional & Celebrating Small Victories

If you read my blog you likely know that my One Little Word for the year is INTENTIONAL. I’m trying to apply this word to all areas of my life including how I spend my money. I want to curb my impulse purchasing of shtuff I don’t need, like my 10th planner or all those art supplies that just end up being given away in a mad destash of my studio. I’m also trying to remember to celebrate my little victories when I make progress in this area. I recently had one of those occasions and I’d like to share it with you.

Ok so we all know that I loooove me some art supplies, especially when they’re  available in limited quantities on those discount craft sites! Yeah, I’m a sucker for those. Throw in a website timer to rush me along and I’m done for! Sometimes it seems to all happens in such a blur that I come to feeling like I’ve been art supply roofied and wondering “what did I just buy?”

A couple of days ago I purchased 3 sets of a crayon I was rather meh about just because the price was good and the item is new & shiny. The “limited quantities” in big pink letters only served to seal the deal. I didn’t want to miss out on a good deal, right?!

It wasn’t until after I completed the transaction that I remembered my OLW. Rather than get down on myself, I allowed myself a few minutes to sit with my thoughts. It went something like this…

  • Was I intentional in my purchase? Nope.
  • Did I really even want them? Nope, not really.
  • Why was I meh about them? I already own something similar that I think works better for me based on comparison videos that I watched.
  • Do I really think I’ll use them more than once or twice? Nope.
  • Why did I buy them? Because… Discount!

So guess what?! I did what I don’t know that I’ve ever done… I canceled my order And I felt good about it… Really good.

 

Success

I’ve heard that success is a string of small victories. I know that correcting old habits and developing new ones is a process that will take time. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be buying art supplies and other goodies, or that I haven’t since this happened. It just means that I’ll make a concerted effort to be intentional about my purchases rather than simply falling into them without much thought.

I WILL eventually learn to be INTENTIONAL before making purchases, rather than after, but for today I’m celebrating this small victory on my path to success.

One day at a time.

xo,

Belen

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