Posts Tagged ‘artjournal’

Art & Whimsy Etsy Shop… Now Open For Business!

Squeeee… I have Big, BIG News today… I am officially open for business on Etsy!

Be sure to take advantage of my grand opening special of FREE Shipping, on select items.

New items will be added regularly, so please add ArtandWhimsyCreates to your favorite shops and check back often.

etsy bannThanks for looking!

The Groove Tool Review & Demo Video

Hello & happy day! I have something new to share with you all today!

I was browsing the isles of my local craft store and spotted this new little gadget, The Groove Tool by Art-C. 2015-05-30 11.30.50 Being the art tool junkie that I am, and it being on sale… well, I couldn’t resist so Hello, Demo Video!

You can see it in action at the bottom of this video, but first, I’ll say a couple of things about it, since this is a review as well. Here’s what comes included in the box: 2015-05-30 11.32.42

  • 1 Groove Tool
  • 1 Brush Tip
  • 1 Sponge Tip
  • 1 Course Sanding Tip
  • 1 Fine Sanding Tip

*Additional tips are available for purchase. It requires 2 AA batteries (not included) and sells for $19.99. If you can pick it up on sale or with a 40% off coupon, like I did, even better.

Basically this lightweight tool works much like a spinning facial cleansing brush in that the tips spin when you turn it on. It has 2 speeds, low and high, making it suitable for use on various mixed media substrates, like paper, canvas, aluminum, even wood.

The Groove is quiet, super easy to use and rather fun! I think it would be especially useful for someone with carpel tunnel or arthritis since the spinning tip does the work for you with very little pressure needed. It would also come in very handy when mass crafting items like cards and invitations.

Another nice thing about it, is that the spinning tips make for a very smooth application, whether you’re using paint or inks, without any harsh brush lines.

I like brush marks as much as the next gal, but sometimes I want a smooth application and The Groove handles that wonderfully.

I’m pleased with this fun little gadget and think it was a good purchase. Did I need it, no. But now that I have it, do I see myself using it again and again, yes! Over all, my take on The Groove Tool by Art-C is that it’s a keeper and a good addition to my art tools.

If you aren’t able to find it at your local craft store, I found it online at, but it looks like they are currently sold out. 2015-05-30 12.59.39 A few tags that I made using The Groove.

And now to see it in action… if you enjoy the video, please show it some love by clicking the thumbs up to “like” it.

tag1 Thanks for watching and Happy Arting! xo

Create Your Own Freeform Stencils

Hello all of you wonderfully artsy people!

I’m excited to share something new (to me) with you today!

I love stencils, all kinds of stencils, they’re a great way to add surface design and depth to my art journal pages and mixed media art. Sometimes, however, I’m looking for something just a little bit different or have the need for a stencil that I don’t have in my collection.

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Because of this, I decided to try my hand at stencil cutting. Today I’ll share with you my very first attempt at cutting my own freeform stencils, using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool and a Simply Stencil sheet, which is just a stencil blank, a clean sheet of plastic for you to cut your design into.

2015-05-24 12.22.52I started by plugging in my 2-n-1 Craft Tool, giving it a few minutes to warm up while I roughly sketched out my stencil design. My goal was a very freeform design. Because I do a lot of mixed media art, I knew that I wanted the printed stencil design to look rough, almost as if it was done by hand.

2015-05-24 12.45.35Working on a protected, heat-resistant surface, I began cutting the various design elements. This will take a few minutes, depending on how intricate your design is, but I encourage you to take your time and use caution; your craft tool will be extremely HOT.

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As you can see, my cuts aren’t pretty and I had a couple of ‘Oops” along the way, but I’m not bothered by that at all, It actually adds to the look that I’m going for.

If you want a crisper design, something a bit more structured, or maybe even a design that is just a bit beyond your current drawing ability, no problem! Simply print a design that you want to use from the internet, place the printed sheet of paper underneath your stencil blank, use a marker to trace the design onto your sheet of plastic, toss the printed paper and cut your design as I’ve explained above.

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Now that my freeform stencil was done it was time to PLAY! Taking a gelli print that I had previously pulled, I stamped on the various elements of my custom stencil, using acrylics, and added some random marks with pens and markers.

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The irregularities and “oops” of my roughly cut stencil only ads to the overall look, really giving it character. I’m pleased with the outcome of my first attempt at cutting freeform stencils and am excited to try my hand at a few more.

I hope that you’ve found this post informative and that you feel inspired to try it yourself. Using the Plaid 2-n-1 Craft Tool to create own distinctive stencils is a great way to make art that truly is uniquely your own. Have fun & Happy Arting!

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Handcrafted Books

I’ve made a commitment to myself to get my Etsy shop open for business in the next couple of weeks, so I’ve been busy making a few things to list for sale.

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This week I’ve been working on these Lotería inspired handcrafted books, in various sizes.

The cover of each one of these books is crafted from authentic Lotería cards, giving them fun and funky look.

Being Hispanic, making these books brought back a some nice childhood memories of playing this popular game, often referred to as Mexican Bingo.

Thanks for looking!


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!

Note To Self

Dear Self,

Just a little reminder to Live Creatively, every. single. day. However grand or small the activity, even if all you have are a few short minutes, just do it… every. single. day.

Why? because you love it and because you’re worth it.

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Your Inner Artist

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!

Art Fusion Stamps

Good morning, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

I have a quick post for you today, just to tell you about the new Art Fusion stamps from Art to the 5th, available HERE. They were released a few days ago and I just couldn’t resist.

2015-04-24 14.57.53The set is sold as a full sheet of 16 red rubber stamps. To make them easy to use, I mounted them onto a sheet of EZMount Static Cling Mounting Foam, then used my Tim Holtz non-stick shears to cut out the individual stamps. EZMount is quite sticky, so the non-stick blades of the shears helps things go a little quicker.

Once the stamps are mounted onto the foam and cut out, you just peel off the cling backing, stick them onto your stamping block of choice and get your stamping on!

2015-04-25 09.40.10I stored these new stamps in the same way that I store all of my cling mounted stamps. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE having them in these little cases, especially with the stamped image on the front of the case so I know exactly what’s inside.

If you’d like to know more about my storage method, you can read that blog post HERE.

2015-04-25 09.41.06Inside the case I include info about the stamp for future reference when blogging or posting my art to social media.

I’ve only played a bit with these stamps, but can already tell that they will be a set that I come back to again and again. I can’t wait to find a little more time to play!

Thanks for reading!

Dear Artist…

I recently hosted a Happy Painting giveaway here on the blog and asked people who entered to share a bit of advice for the new artist just starting out.

It resulted in such a wonderful collection of encouraging words, from urging people to try completely new techniques they’re not comfortable with, to learning how to love your own work by having it framed by somewhere like Art Graphics and displaying it in your home. I decided to dedicate a blog post to share them.

So, whether you’re a budding artist or a seasoned creator, I hope you’ll read on; there are thoughtful words of wisdom tucked into this post, even a few from Juliette Crane herself.


Juliette Crane: Here’s a bit of advice from me: I try and remember to always have fun with whatever I’m creating. If I think too much about the end result or painting what’s in my head or trying to paint like someone else, I either freeze or paint something lifeless. I also try to make it easy for myself to create every day by keeping a few favorite supplies and my sketchbook out, ready to go at all times. And I always push myself in new directions by recognizing what I am drawn to in my every day. In that way, I continue to develop my style in a way that is unique to me… and fun. xo Juliette

Ms. Micheal: When you start out painting DO NOT buy expensive paint!! Wait you get your feet under you than splurge for the good stuff! Then you won’t feel like your wasting expensive paint as you explore painting for the first time!!

April Lopez: Relax! You are not competing with anyone else. Making art is pure joy. And you don’t need lots of fancy and expensive supplies. I love using Crayola kids watercolors. They are cheap and have amazing color.

Leslie Yambert: Play, have fun! Ignore those inner critics. Make some marks on your paper, use your favorite colors, and set it aside. Visit it in a few minutes or a few days, and let it talk to you. Does your page want images, more paint, words or collage? Add layers until it makes you smile, or just paint over the whole thing; and start again. Discover what makes YOU happy.

Mari: My tip would be to start playing with inexpensive art supplies and see what you like. I’m new to art and rushed out and bought so many things most of which I now just dust (ok I don’t dust them unless I’m moving them aside to get to something else). If using acrylics I would buy a good gesso. And buy good ink pads if stamping.

Jana Freeman: My advice to anyone who is just starting out: start anywhere, just go with the flow, keep going, love your mistakes like you would an ugly baby, just keep making, creating and doing. You’re an artist simply because you have a desire to create. xoxo

Darcie Wright: Relax and have fun. Pinterest for ideas and new techniques to try. Art supplies to splurge on I find are pens, markers you use to draw, stamp pads/ inks, and paper. I love to use Crayola watercolor pencil crayons and inexpensive acrylic paints. Mix it up and have fun creating!

Phuong Dam: My advice is to start small with one or two mediums. Don’t go out and buy too many supplies. Find a few artists whose styles you like and take inspiration from them!

Marcia Beckett: My advice is to take an in-person class, or look for online art classes. I always learn something new while taking a class.

Melissa T: My best advice for someone starting out is to try, try, try and to not worry about the end result as much as the process.

Kim: Two things. First of all, when you don’t have a lot of money, don’t worry about getting expensive supplies before getting started. Just use what you have. Get those $5 markers at Target. Or that watercolor paper from the Dollar Store. The important thing is to create. As long as you’re doing that, you’re doing good. The second thing is paint for yourself. Don’t do it to impress others or to be looked at a certain way. Do it because you love it. Do it because your life isn’t complete unless you have an outlet for your artistry.

Shari Welch: Not everyone will like what you create. Follow your heart and create what makes you happy the rest will fall in place.

Criston: Start out small and work your way up, so as to not overwhelm yourself. Keep it fun, don’t focus on perfection, it is the imperfections that help you develop you’re style. Don’t worry about having all the art supplies, you will get there. Start with just a couple different mediums and learn all about then, then start building from there. I started with cheap craft paint and scrap boxes!

Willow: New artists…follow your heart! Wait until you are comfortable with painting before you invest in a whole lot of supplies, you never know where you may end up.

Susan Ringler: Spend some money on brushes as they can make such a difference.

Melody Elzy: NO ONE is perfect…that includes you….don’t beat yourself up if you feel you’ve made a mistake…paint over it, gesso over it, or embrace it and work around it, but don’t throw it out and DON’T quit!

Joan Craft: Go with the flow and don’t compare your work to other peoples thinking wow I wish I could paint like that !!! these same artists were probably saying the same thing when they started out we are all different and unique so that should apply to what we do in life too….oh forgot ..practice practice practice and smile smile smile

Stephanie Muth: Embrace your mistakes!

Dirry Vogelaar: Don’t dare, just do!

Joanne: Just have fun don’t compare yourself to others start by collaging and fill in white spaces with paint most important just have fun

Lura Brown: My advice would be to be easy on yourself and try to not compare yourself to others that may be way farther along in their art journey and experience. try to enjoy and have fun with your own art. learn from your mistakes…..they often lead you to a much better piece when you work thru them.

Pamela: Don’t give up and don’t listen to the critics.

Joan S.: As a new artist, I am not sure what tip to leave except that another friend has told me not to buy expensive paints to start. She said to buy good brushes instead.

Missy: My advice is to do art every day, even if it’s just a 5 minute sketch.

Raine Phoenix: My advice comes in the form of one of my favorite quotes. (I’m sorry that I don’t know who to credit for it.) “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Better yet, don’t compare at all! Just have fun and play!

Linda Monopoli: My advice as an artist my whole life would be. Whatever you create is your art, you own it, no rules have fun! There’s no such thing as a mistake in art!

Glenda: The best way to learn, improve, and develop your own style, is to draw or paint every single day, even if it’s just a five minute sketch. Never give up, and one day you’ll look at your art and realize that it’s actually pretty amazing.

Gizelle: Don’t let the awesome work by other artists awe you to a point of anxiety. You have to start somewhere and Art is about practice and experience as much as it is about technique and tools. The more you do of it the better you become and more adept at using the tools and techniques.

Susan H.: My advice for a newbie is to be patient and kind to yourself. Take time to learn and you will become more confident and happier over time.

April McEvily: What a spectacular journey you are about to embark on! Don’t compare your work to anyone else’s, enjoy the fun of playing with art supplies, just like you were a kid again. I heard there is no such thing as talent, it’s all in how much you practice.

Kim: Use supplies you have on hand. Create a background with junk mail and magazines. Draw a pattern on masking tape to create a decorative washi tape. Don’t be afraid, just do it! Most of all enjoy the process, not the outcome. Layers are your best friend…layer, layer, layer.

Carol Lang: My best advice is to lower your expectations. We all want every piece of artwork that we create to be a masterpiece, but that’s unrealistic. Learn to enjoy the process without looking for perfection. No one learns to be a great golfer or hits home runs without putting in a lot of time practicing, and the same is true of art. An inexpensive small journal, a few nice art supplies and a willingness to make an ugly mess will teach you more than you might think if you’ll just play, explore and relax.

Becky: For anyone just starting out, just play with everything and find what you really like!

Michele Taylor: My advice to a new artist is this, “do what you like first, don’t force it, learn as much as you can, never turn down any opportunity that comes your way no matter how small, lessons are everywhere and artists are a most generous lot, praise yourself often”.

Janice: Sometimes you just gotta ignore the ‘rules’.

And finally, my own bit of advice…

Belen Sotelo: Have fun, experiment and don’t be afraid to just play with your supplies. Not every page/piece/project will turn out as planned, it’s ok; we all have them. Embrace the lesson that they offer and keep on creating. Above all else, create what makes YOU happy!

Thank you for reading.

I wish you a beautiful week!

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.


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!


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