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Fixing an art journal page – removing wet glue

So while I liked the page with the Pensive Face, I didn’t love it. I really wanted to make it more balanced but had stuck down the stamped figures (what I perceived as the real problems with the composition) with wet glue and it was simply NOT coming up cleanly. The left page was less of a problem than the right – I knew I could layer a few more images on the left

but I had to remove the figure on the right to relocate it to the outside corner.

Knowing that acrylic paint is basically waterproof when dry, and as it had been more than a day since I finished the page, I was VERY brave and spritzed some water right over the image. Using a palette knife I gently scraped off the figure

then spritzed on some more water to gently wipe away any glue residue. I re-stamped the image and relocated it where I wanted it to be and added a couple more images to the left page. I was able to peel up just the barest edge of the one already on the page, then trimmed the new image so I could tuck just the barest edge of THAT under thew stuck-down one.

It all worked out in the end! The original:

and the improved version.

Happier with it for sure! I might have added a larger face on each side behind the figures you see, filling the middle of the page a bit, probably stamped on to tissue paper, but I am not going to mess with it further. I will just remember the experience the next time I make a page LOL!

Day 63:

Rather restrained and minimalist this day. Maybe I am burning out on the project a little? Still not missed a day yet. But I have made enough of a dent in the stash I was hoping to use up. Face facts: I will NEVER use it all up.


Dose Two tomorrow so I might just allow myself a longer break over the weekend. I’ll add my 100 Days pages for sure, but maybe nothing else. I’ll see how I feel.

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That pensive face stencil

I always cave. I have been looking at art journal pages using the pensive face from Dina Wakely and loving them. So when I was buying some other stuff, I slipped one in my basket. And I managed to make a page with it that I have not seen someone else do before. Hard when something is new and popular and lots of people are cranking out pages using it. I have to say in advance I wish I had made a few different choices in placement – and had I not used wet glue I probably would peel things off and shuffle them around. Every time this happens I think always use something repositionable and let it sit with you for a day. And I never do it.

I had this idea for a Left Brain/Right Brain page, with a cut out in the middle. I started with the face in the middle – stencilled on one side of a page, then cleaned the stencil and flipped it to stencil on the back. I cut the page into the shape first so the placement on the reverse was easier.

Of course, I then realized that without the side pages done I might get paint on the cut page – hence the wraaaaped in plaaastic cover (Twin Peaks fans? anyone?) and carried on with the side pages – one warm, one cool

Lots of stamping that added layers of texture. When it came time to add the Left Brain, Right Brain text I wanted each to be seen only on the page it applied to – I had the idea to more deeply cut the middle page then add the stamped and cut letters back to back. Problem was the letters are NOT all the sime width. In the end there wre only a couple that needed real adjusting – for those I stamped them and added a thicker side with a Sharpie

For the ones where there was just the barest hint of the behind letter showing, drawing on the back side of the bigger one with the Sharpie did the trick. I knew I wanted more text and defying all odds, I was able to create the rest of the words from just the smaller version of the letters in a different stamp set!

The blocks are slightly different sizes but close enough for me. The only missing letter from the text I wanted to use was the U. But wait, you say – there IS a U there. Nope. It’s an altered O!

I am thinking I could make the letters to print and match, a bit like I did when I wanted them bigger. Now I realize that the width is not uniform but fits the letter, it is easy enough to do.

Final page:

I wanted to have the two figures to reflect the left and right, but my BIG regret was not adding more of the left figure (three grouped would be good) and not adding the right one in the right corner. Both those changes would make the page SO MUCH BETTER. I have thought of a way to add three on the left, but peeling off the right figure just is not working. If I manage to sort it I will show it…and OMG while typing I had an idea that actually MIGHT work!! Watch this space!

The weird colour variation is the angle – both sides are pure white, I promise, I’m just too lazy to take the time to do the colour correction.

Overall I really like the pages and as it was my first time cutting a page that is bound in to my journal, it went better than I feared it might LOL!

On to Day 61:

In my box of scraps I had those two already cut triangles of reddish orange. I really wanted to use them up. Not 100% sure on the composition, but it’s OK enough – not gonna sweat it.


Art Journal experimentation

I kinda feel like I have gotten away from making art journal pages, instead doing experiments on other paper or doing smaller projects, and I don’t know why. I get a little antsy when I don’t get to make an actual page. I made a couple of pieces, playing with the technique of stenciling with gloss gel medium then applying gloss spray over it, with no clear idea of a final project for the pieces. I decided to do something I very rarely do – just stick the piece to a page in my art journal and build on it.

I never really captured the process but basically I filled the background with stamping then stenciled the stars over the top then sprayed the gloss spray over that and when it had mostly at least partially dried on the PAPER (very quick) I wiped the spray away from the gloss gel stars. I did some other stamping over that for a bit more depth. I decided to gesso the brown paper bag page and stick it on that, then stencil more of the stars around the perimeter of the stuck-on piece to (hopefully) tie them together a bit.

There is a bit of scribbling round the stars. black around the yellow ones and white around the original ones – I wish I had done the white around the original before stenciling but oh well…

I wanted to add some text so I went back…waaaaaayyy back, to the technique I came up with the seal inkjet printer text so you can use gel medium over it without the whole thing becoming a dense black smear. We still have a laser printer to buy but finding the right one with all the options we want is tricky. Anyway, the original post is here and originally was more abut using the technique to seal your pan pastels without using a stinky spray sealant, but basically you print the text

then roll gel medium onto your gel plate and press it on the text, being careful not to wiggle it about.

Worked a treat, as usual. Added a face stamped on deli-paper so it could melt into the lumpy background better. The final page turned out ok, although I am not sure if the lower left needs…something there or not. I’ll consider it for a bit.

DAY 60 feels like a milestone. Definitely on the downhill slope, although right at the beginning of it! And nice to occasionally put something smack in the middle of the page. There MIGHT be too much going on here. A lot of colour, a lot of pattern…just A LOT.


Love the quote, hate the page

I made a page using one of the tags. It al began well enough, with some stamped faces on tissue (Rubbermoon stamps) and book text to add a little weight to the thin paper bag pages.

I had cut a stencil by stamping and cutting a Dina Wakely stamp, so I could stencil the colour then over-stamp the stamp

So far so good

I added the tag and a bit of doodling and the quote, which I love (not sleeping well at the moment, no idea why)

and the whole thing just felt…unbalanced. Luckily I got the tag off and added a few more stamped images but in the end I am not sure I like it any better! Not sure what to do at this point.

Now looking at it in the photo I like it a lot better than I think I did as soon as I finished it. Maybe it will grow on me….I think maybe changing the colour of the light gree guy might help too – maybe make him a bolder colour for contrast? Bah! I am overthinking it – it is JUST AN ART JOURNAL PAGE.

Day 47! A little lackluster this one, but maybe that is how I am feeling. Or maybe just anxious to get on to the halfway point and Book Two.

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Gloss sprays and something crazy – yep, I cut a stamp…

I made a page using the gloss sprays – my first one.

This is in my thin-page brown paper bag journal – it only has a few pages left to complete it so I thought I would do a page in it. The gloss spray is not great on the brown paper, but I added some yellow stars and that worked pretty well to lighten it up at least a bit

I added some figures cut from Collage Collective papers, then I did a crazy thing – I cut one of my expensive red rubber stamps. Yep. I really, really did. This asemic writing stamp has on section of very small text on it – not only is it repeated elsewhere on the stamp, it sticks out and (to me) ruins the look of the whole stamp if you want to stamp it repeatedly to, say, fill a space. So i got the sharpest, smallest scissors I had and, snip, snip, snip…

The unseen benefit was that the tiny bit of text was both small and quite straight, and it worked really well to use to stamp the asemic writing along the edge of the figures. This is a look I really like, but I am still at the stage where I think my own attempts at this scribbly writing will end up ruining a page I otherwise like. I am practicing but just not there yet! The stamp works OK to get the look in the meantime:

See how neatly it travels along the edge? I think alternating the orientation of the stamp will make it look less repetitive, but overall, I am pretty happy with it! And so, my 100 days page – getting so close to 50 now I can taste it ….


The first page in my Doodles And Marks art journal

Having fun. The page itself is less than ideal – the original background of marks was lovely, I really liked it, but I think the black text was too much. I feel like maybe Payne’s Grey would have been a better choice.

This is in my recently named Doodles & Marks journal.

The stencil of me is an old one. It felt like the right choice. I love that – I made a book fold of a different stencil too, but this one was already cut at the right size!

The quote is from that printable sheet from a week or so ago. I finally had to replace my chisel tip black marker that I have been using for, I swear, 15 years. I got a pack of three, kept two and gave one to a friend at a crop, who saw me using it to edge things and said “I always wondered how you got that look….” The tip was frayed and getting dry. It was like saying goodby to an old friend!

The old one was a Zebra 5mm chisel and the new one is a Sharpie chisel – the Sharpie gives a really find line when edging. I like it!

Now another Day page:

Really like this one a lot.

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A little art journal page

I got some stamps I ordered from the USA – all my Googling skills failed me when I tried to find them to buy in the UK – and I made a super quick page in my little tape-bound art journal. I am trying not to keep working in the same one all the time.

I like it – the flowers were stamped on my deli-paper masterboard and cut out.

Still loads left LOL!

I am happier with how the letters worked out this time. I found a trick to almost eliminate the black spatter effect

By selecting a closed stroke, it adds a line around every area, including every spatter, individually. Making that line as tiny as possible , and white, almost obliterates the messy black!

Just for comparison:

Can’t tell easily bit I also got my gloss sprays – the spatters are White and Marine.

Day 36! Slightly experimental and I really like this one, for some reason. Used lots of scrappy bits from other pages…

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Musings about Art Journal types and about dividing by style

I have a fair few art journals. I’ve never bought one. I tend to make them. My oldest one is made from brown paper, soaked and left to dry, with a sewn binding. The paper really isn’t heavy enough but it has worked for me for six years – and it is not full. It has about 12 sides till it is full. That’s it in the middle:

To the right is a little one I made from watercolour paper from an Amazon mailer that is empty except fo leftover paint when working on other pages:

and to the left my little Roben-Marie scrap paper, tape bound one, from a free workshop. It has a few pages done it it, but as the pages are colourful papers (or at least full of SOMETHING) it generally isn’t the one I reach for first. I actually kinda LIKE a blank page.

I have a bigger one, also from an Amazon mailer and also with watercolour paper for the pages on the right below. This one has maybe two or so pages in it so far, mostly from prompts to do with LifeBook 2021 (taster classes all, I think.) That is the cover of the Roben-Marie journal from above on the left

I like the idea of having multiple journals, different sizes, with different substrates to work on, but I find it hard to grab anything other than the thing I am currently working on. So my junk journal was on my desk and I just turned over when I wanted to do another page. I am trying to get away from that. I really wanted to think about the style or techniques that I felt I wanted to explore/learn/improve.

I am kinda crap at mark-making. So I added a title to my small watercolour paper journal and will use it to explore mark-making and doodling. There is a lot of random colour on almost all of the pages so far, so this seems like a good plan.

My large watercolour paper journal will end up being a normal anything-goes journal. also sensible, as it is the biggest one I have and the paper is really nice. The brown-paper journal is also anything-goes, but I will be mindful of the lighter paper weight when working in it. I may focus on this one for now, as there are three single pages and five double-page spreads left in it. It has some of my favourite pages in it.

The other thing I am super keen on exploring is watercolours. I have been very inspired by WOYWW-mate Lunch Lady Jan and her watercolour pieces. I splotch them about on pages here or there but never really do a piece IYKWIM. I was also interested in disc-bound journals. Which is funny cause I got one in a Club Scrap kit maybe 20 years ago and hated them – I was sure the page would just fall out. But the more I looked in to it the more appealing they became. So I bought a few things.

I had this pack of cartridge paper and thought it might work for watercolours but it really doesn’t – it says good for “light wash” and that is not quite right. I am pretty much out of watercolour paper at the moment so while I punched some of the sheets to test out the sturdiness and the easy of inserting and removing, this paper pad I was keen to use up really isn’t right. I’ll re-visit this idea once I get some more watercolour paper – or some smaller discs! I have one massive sheet of 140lb. cold-press paper that could allow me to make a 12 sheet, 24 page journal, but the large discs I have are really too big for that. They are about 25mm and the box says they will hold 150 sheets! If the page are bulky, with lots of texture etc. we are still talking about a good 50 pages, I would think. This is 10 sheets – barely makes a dent!

I will ponder on this a little longer, maybe see if I can unearth the old Club Scrap discs (which were quite small, if I recall correctly) and then reassess.

OK, next 100 days page and then I am done! WOYWW tomorrow. Last week was crazy with other things so I was very late getting around. I’ll do better this week.

Funny how seeing something in a photo makes you look at it in a different way! I really feel like this needs another circle at the top – Adding one digitally to see…maybe two, for a visual triangle? Maybe too stark – Can’t decide!

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Junk journal covers done!

I was quite happy to finish a journal. Although I realized that not only did I work on pages pretty consecutively, I didn’t vary (much) the style of the pages. I mean they were all mostly paint, stamps and stencils, with a few odd techniques thrown in, like gelato-style crayon backgrounds, or the odd collage image. I am determined to shake that up a little. I have an idea and will talk about that perhaps tomorrow. But first, my covers! The front cover shows the booklet I used for this junk journal – the paper is glossy, a great weight, and the binding seems pretty stable. I just got a handful of stencils and the first one out of the package seemed perfect for the cover.

You can see the fit is exact.

Pretty minimal effort really, but I love it.

The back cover I went a little more experimental. I used some scraps of Collage Collective papers t0 stamp and cut/punch some letters

and paired them with another stencil. Scratchy outlining was OK, but maybe too much. Still, JUNK journal, right?

I am very happy with it but my plan is to not work solely in a single journal in order to “finish” it, and to very the style of journaling I am doing, to learn and experiment in all my journals.

Lastly, the next 100 days page. A month in and still motivated! Not a great photo – the colours are really far more purple and less brown than they look on MY monitor.

My hand was forced in the placement this time, as the large foam stamp cause some serious bleed-thru from the previous page! Luckily only the one page and not all the way onto the right hand one. Phew. Lesson learned!


My junk journal flip thru

I have done my 100 days page but as this is going to be photo heavy I am going to add two pages tomorrow instead of one today and the solo image on my Sunday-day off. You’ll have to trust me LOL!

I’ve tested it and you can click on any image to see it bigger – not BIG, but bigger. I’m still conserving space so I don’t run out.

It’s interesting for me to see them all together. I’m not sure it helps me define my style but I notice a few things – first, in my head, I used circles a lot more than it seems I do. On less than half of the pages I see circles as the focal image. On four of them they are the dominant image. I’ve used something Dina Wakely on ten of 18 pages, although on three of them I used only a bit of collage tissue text or a tiny bit of the asemic writing stamp. There is text on every page, more than just a title. Colour-wise I don’t seem limited to any particular grouping, although turquoise and orange seems to happen a few times. There is virtually no “white space” as defined by the colour white, but most pages are not as chaotic as I feared. There are none that I HATE, but a few that seem like they went off the rails at some point. I recall when making them that there was a point where I should have stopped, where I liked them better than the finished item. Oops. Oh well.

And finally, this sort of journal, and the fact that it cannot lay flat after a certain point (gee, where else have I noticed that as well?) is… problematic. I have a maybe solution to that I am keen to try out. More on that later. But, yeah. Overall, I had fun, I experimented, I stretched myself, and I wish I could go out again and pick up another Bus Tour booklet. The weight of the pages was great, although some were stuck in groups to provide a thicker base, and the no-pressure nature of it all was relaxing. Last thing to do is decorate the cover. Luckily I think I have an easy solution!