Posts Tagged ‘artjournaling’

Just. Start. Somewhere.


When you don’t know where to start, Just. Start. Somewhere.
I’ve never been one that’s good at balancing the various obsessions I have going on at any given time. I’m usually an “all in” kind of girl.

What that sometimes means is that I will go through periods of time where I don’t create any art while I lose myself in a new video game or the latest obsession.

When that happens I often have a hard time getting back into my art groove, not knowing where to start.

This morning I told myself Just. Start. Somewhere.

It’s not finished and by no means is it a masterpiece, but it’s a start and that’s Something.

Wishing you a beautiful week.



My 2016 Hybrid Version of Documented Life and One Little Word

I participated in The Documented Life project in 2014 and really enjoyed it. They changed their format in 2015 and it just didn’t really speak to me so I passed.This year however, they’ve changed it up again and they’re doing what they refer to as DLP 2016 –  The unPlanner. It’s basically a planner with mixed media elements. A winning combination in my option, as it combines 2 things I enjoy.

Since I have my 2016 planner set ups done and they’re working for me, I decided to forgo the planner aspect of DLP 2016 and instead combine it with One Little Word 2016, another year-long project that I’m participating in.

My word for the year is INTENTIONAL so you’ll likely see that often in my projects during the year.

adjective: intentional
  1. Done on purpose; deliberate.

For this hybrid project I decided to use a Heidi Swapp Memory Planner. I created some mixed media style dividers and a dashboard using my gelli plate and also a title page to help me keep focus of my word.

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My intention is to take the weekly DLP2016 challenges that inspire me and incorporate them into my monthly One Little Word projects. I haven’t really decided just how much of OLW2016 I’ll be sharing her on the blog because it contains so much personal information. For now I’ll share the artistic elements.

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The Dare2B sheet is one of the downloads you get with the unPlanner project.

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A friend from India sent me a lovely mandala card so I incorporated it into my planner along with some cute clips.

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I hadn’t done last week’s DLP challenge so I did it this morning. Rather than list 10 books that have impacted my life, as the weekly challenge suggested, I focused on just one, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies. This book has changed my life in so many ways. It has taught me how to recognize my own unhealthy thought patterns and given me tools to be free from them.It’s an ongoing process but the positive effects of this book have been life altering for me. I’ve listed some of the positive ways it has impacted my life.

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My version of this week’s unPlanner project.

Recently I’ve been spending time trying to sort out some old personal baggage and how it relates to my present day life. There have been some rough days while I’ve been working through this process. Some more challenging than others, but it’s all been a necessary step in my growth. This page is a  visual expression of my recent struggles as well as a gentle reminder to be gentle with my self.

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If you’d like to learn more about either One Little Word 2016 or DLP2016 The unPlanner feel free to check out their sites.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a wonderful week.




NanoJouMo – Week 3 In Review

I hope that today finds you all busy with plans for a fabulous day tomorrow. However you choose to spend it, whether you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday or not, I wish you a day filled with love, laughter and something yummy to eat.

This month has flown by and it’s hard to believe that I’m already sharing Week 3 of NanoJouMo with you!

Day 15

Day 15

Day 16

Day 16

Day 17

Day 17

Day 18

Day 18

Day 19

Day 19

Day 20

Day 20

Often times we wait for the huge moments to be thankful, leaving the moments in between… the everyday, ordinary moments… to slip by unnoticed. Creating this page prompted me to remember to take time to be thankful for each and every one of those ordinary moments as well; they’re called LIFE.


Day 21

Thank you for looking and sharing in this experience with me.




NanoJouMo – Week 2 In Review

Hello lovelies! I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable week with plenty of time to pursue your passions and spend time with loved ones.

Despite a busy work week, I managed to keep up with the NanoJouMo challenge and am finding that it has helped me feel much more relaxed and at home in my journal.

Here is week 2 in review.

Day 8

Day 8

Day 9

Day 9

Day 10

Day 10

Day 11

Day 11

Day 12

Day 12

Day 13

Day 13

On a somber note, much of the world mourned the senseless, tragic events that took place in Paris last week. Many in the art community, myself included, turned to their art as a means of expressing their feelings and support.

I was soy touched to have received a couple of messages from IG followers in Paris that just wanted to say thank you for the support. So while our art was seemingly a small gesture, I think we managed to send a big message to not only each other, but hopefully to the people of Paris… “We Are With You”.

Day 14

“Paris, We Are With You” – Day 14

Wishing you a healthy & happy week.



NanoJouMo – Week 1 In Review

A couple of weeks ago I shared that during the month of November I’d be participating in NaNoJouMo, a free daily art journal challenge organized by Dawn Sokol. While the basis of NaNoJouMo is to challenge ourselves to spend 15 minutes each day creating an art journal page, Dawn also encourages everyone to make of the challenge what they wish. We can follow her daily prompts or not, we can limit the time spent to 15 minutes or choose to allow ourselves more time. The loose guidelines are really meant to just help get us creating.

With much of my focus on other projects and a general feeling of “meh” towards my art, I’d been really uninspired to play in my art journal for a while. Thanks to NaNoJouMo, the challenge has helped hold me accountable, if only to myself, for spending a few minutes each day getting my art on and I’m Loving it!

I’ve opted to not use the daily prompts, but I have embraced the 15 minute limit and have challenged myself to complete a page in that time frame. I’ll admit that I felt a bit awkward and rusty the first few days, but little by little I’ve started to feel like I’ve got my groove back. I also think it’s been a great way to warm me up in preparation of Wanderlust 2016.

Here is my first week in review.

Day 1

Day 1

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Day 2

Day 3

Day 3

Day 4

Day 4

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Day 6

Day 6

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Thanks for looking.

Wishing you a week filled with color!

Creativity Stifled By Too Many Art Supplies & Struggling To Find My Own Style

Hi friends. If you follow my blog, you’ve likely noticed that I haven’t shared as much mixed media art lately. I’ll admit that I’m in full-on planner girl mode and having a blast with it, but I’m finding that my mixed media art, and art journaling in general, just isn’t where I’d like it to be.

I’ve had to the opportunity to take art classes from some wonderfully talented artists and learned several great techniques from them. I have the time, space and more supplies than I know what to do with, yet I find that I’m struggling to find my own style and just not feeling very inspired lately.

After pondering it for the last couple of weeks, I’ve come to believe that a large part of my issue is an overabundance of art supplies. Paints, inks, powders, stencils, stamps, various machines, misc tools… you name it and it’s quite likely I have it or had it and have given it away in one of my mad art studio de-stashings. I realize that I’m fortunate to be able to indulge my enjoyment of the “new and shiny” and we all love new art supplies, but in my case I think it’s worked against me, stifling my creativity.

I was recently discussing my thoughts with a group of artist friends on Facebook and was surprised to find that several felt similarly and also believed that they created more art when they had less supplies to work with.

One friend, Laura Dalgarno-Platt, gave me a wonderful suggestion that I’ll definitely try. She suggested that I write the names of my supplies down on slips of paper or popsicle sticks and place them in a jar. When I want to create some art, I randomly pull out 3 or 4 and limit myself to those items for that art session.

Having limits can inspire us to be resourceful, more creative. Perhaps having an overabundance of materials has allowed me to be lazy and not have to do that. One thing I do know is that it’s given me too many options and too many options sometimes leads to difficulty, on my part, to make an actual decision… analysis paralysis. Once that sets in, I either don’t create anything or I fall back on styles and techniques I’ve learned in class rather than embracing the randomness and freedom of just playing to see what develops. I’m then left wondering how much of what I’ve created is truly mine and how much is just mimicked from class or a video. This is where I struggle with not knowing what my own style is.

I’ve really enjoyed the art classes I’ve taken and I find a great deal of value in learning the methods shared by these talented artists, being inspired by their styles and benefiting from their lessons learned, but for me, the desired outcome isn’t to duplicate their styles. Ultimately my goal is to create art that I can look upon and recognize as uniquely my own. I’m not there yet, but I’m slowly taking some steps in that direction.

In addition to putting Laura’s suggestion into play, which I plan to do soon, I’ve de-stashed my studio… again, and given art supplies to friends that I hope will get some enjoyment out of them. I plan to clear out even more and I’ve made a commitment to use up the art materials I have before buying more. *Disclaimer: Planner supplies don’t count. Let’s not get crazy here!

I’ve begun boxing up things I’m not currently using but not sure I want to part with yet and plan to store them in the garage. If after a while I find I still don’t use them, I’ll donate them. My hope is that by limiting some of my choices and supplies, I can recapture some of that freedom of “just playing to see what develops”.

I’ve signed up for NaNoJouMo – the 15 Mins Edition on Facebook, which is a free, month-long, 15 minute-a- day, art journal challenge that begins Nov 1st. It’s designed to help us loosen up, begin to uncover our own style and just spend a few minutes each day creating some art. I’m really excited about this and plan to spend my 15 minutes before work each morning.

I’ve also decided to join Wanderlust 2016. I’ll post more about this later, but basically it’s a year-long art journey with weekly videos from a lineup of 26 amazing teachers. This adventure begins in January and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

Past similar experiences have shown me that having prompts and general parameters to work within, while maintaining the freedom to give an art project my own creative interpretation and adapting it to my skill level is a winning combination for me.

I’m excited to see where these small steps lead me and in which direction my artistic journey will go; I’ll keep you posted!

Thank you for reading.




In Class With Roxanne Coble // By Bun

Yesterday, a wonderful group of friends and I got to spend the day in a private class with Roxanne Coble, a mixed media artist, illustrator, & maker of things. If you aren’t familiar with her work, definitely check out her site!

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Our class, held at the lovely home of my dear friend Jana, was devoted to altered book art, something I’d not previously done. Oh man, let me tell you, it was uh-mazing! We spent 6 jam packed hours with Roxanne learning about composition, a little basic color theory, some of her awesome art techniques and of course getting our art on. She even shared with us her personal method for keeping that ephemera stash we all have, down to a manageable level! Ahem… I uh, I hear some people struggle with that.

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Some in our group our worked on 3 spreads and some on 2. With the size of my books, I limited myself to 2 and it was plenty enough for me.

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Roxanne spent her time supporting us, offering helpful suggestions when we asked for them and working in her own spreads. The hours just flew by. Before we knew it, it was after 2pm and no one had wanted to pause long enough to even have lunch, we were That into our art groove. But a girls gotta eat, right? So we ate while we worked.

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We learned so much in class that I’m really still processing it all. My 2 spreads are still works in progress, but I really like where they’re going. They’re a huge departure from the usual brighter than bright spreads I do, but I’m SO into them When I look at them I can’t help but see the By Bun influences, smile and think, OMG, I did that!

My friend, Angel, joked in class that I was playing with my “dark side” and I have to agree. I’ve decided to call that bottom spread, “Dancing with my Darkness”.

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Roxanne brought the regular class to a close with enough time to share something super Awesome that she’s got in the works. We’ve all been sworn to secrecy, so you wont get a peep out of us, but you can follow her on IG @bybun or on Twitter @madebybun for upcoming classes and projects. Oh, some other great news, Roxanne has just announced that she’ll be teaching as part of Life Book 2016! Be sure to check that out.

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As if the day wasn’t already amazing enough, our lovely host Jana, who introduced me to the world of art journaling many years ago, sent us each home with a bottle of her famous, hand-crafted Pomacello…yum!

This was a day for the books… Life is good.

Thanks for reading and sharing in my experience.



Art Bento Box – Unboxing Video

Hi lovelies! I have something fun to share with you today. Yesterday I received a box of goodies from Art Bento Box and decided to film an unboxing video to share with you today. It’s the first that I’ve shared, so please excuse my nervousness 🙂

Side Note: I’m not affiliated with Art Bento Box in any way. I received this box as a promotional offer to test out their kit in exchange for getting creative with the contents.

Art Bento Box has a Kickstarter Campaign that they’re kicking off towards the end of the month, but you can go to their website for more info and to receive updates.

Before we get into the unboxing video, I thought you might like to see what I created with some of the contents.


You know I love my art tags, so that’s the first thing that I created. Using the paint and stencil included in the kit, I painted my own washi tape, using the orange tape, also included. I used some of the paper to add that gorgeous flower and the white Prisma Pencil for some mark making.

From my own stash I added a bit of ribbon, some Stabilo black pencil to create some depth and a stamped sentiment using a Donna Downey stamp from the Unity Stamp Co.

And now for the Unboxing…

Thanks for watching and exploring the Art Bento Box right along with me.



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.



In Class With Dina Wakley

This past Saturday I spent a wonderful day with Dina Wakley in her Random By Design class at Studio CRESCENDOh. We made several different backgrounds, some I managed to complete as art journal pages. We threw string, painted with our eyes closed, painted with our non-dominant hand, learned about grounding, and composition, did some collaging and even worked on large 18×24 substrates. Oh, and I also learned that the illegible scribbly writing that so many of us do in our journals is called asemic writing!

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It was a fantastic day of learning to just Let Go, make a mess and create pages that are very free and open, with lots of yummy white space.

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A couple of journal pages that I completed in class.

The premise of the class was to create pages, through a series of techniques, that looked random. To help achieve this, we worked on multiple backgrounds simultaneously.

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Not all of my backgrounds resulted in completed pages, and that’s ok. It’s nice to have backgrounds to work from when I don’t have a lot of time to play. I’m really liking the way this second background turned out and will likely take Dina’s suggestion, to just add a quote or some journaling and call it done.

2015-07-25 16.00.49If you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a Dina Wakley class, then you know what a joy it is to what her work. Her style is organic, open and carefree because that truly is how she creates. Her catchphrase “oops, oh well” really is something she lives by and preaches in her classes. She shares some good techniques on grounding your layers from edge to edge, choosing a color pallet that will pop off your page, how to add depth and texture, then she encourages you to make a mess, have fun, and just go with it.

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I’ve never worked on a substrate larger than my art journal, so working on 18 x 24 sheets of watercolor paper was a bit scary at first. I found that venturing outside of my comfort zone is exactly what I needed to shake things up a bit and get that creative energy flowing.

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As focal points for these larger pieces, Dina encouraged us to scribble sketch some faces. Working to this scale, the scribbly hair was a bit of a challenge for me, but it was a fun. During our show and tell time, the class decided that this sketch resembled Nicole Kidman… giggle.

2015-07-26 10.02.22Once home, in my own studio, Loki decided to cover up his and my least favorite. #EveryonesaCritic

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Dina had some of her products available for purchase, and I couldn’t resist because… ART SUPPLIES!!

I couldn’t finish this blog post without a great big thank you to Jenny Doh for having the class at her studio. Attending a Dina Wakley class was at the top of my bucket list, and Jenny’s art filled studio space, warm nature and positive energy only served to make this experience all the more memorable.

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While I was at Studio Crescendoh, I picked up this wonderful book that I have not been able to put down since. It’s pages are filled with beautiful images and bite-sized inspiration, from many of our favorite artists, and is sure to feed your creative spirit. You can find it on her site HERE or on Amazon, in kindle and paperback versions HERE.

If you get the opportunity to take an art class, I highly recommend checking out her studio in Santa Ana. Her calendar can be found HERE. There’s already a couple of more classes that I have my eye on.

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Dina was sweet enough to add her own words of inspiration to my book.

PicMonkey Collage

A little selfie fun with Dina Wakley??… Heck YES, thank you very much!


Thanks for reading and I wish you all a beautiful, art filled week!



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