Studio 318 New Art Journal Cards in the shop!

More of my sketchbook images to use in your planners!

Thank you Instagram and Facebook friends who have ordered new art cards this past week. I am so grateful for the enthusiasm you have for these tiny works of art. I can’t wait to see how you use them in your art journals and planners. I currently have 5 different series of art journal cards, or “tip-ins” available in my Etsy shop.

They are professionally printed on 80# glossy (front only) card stock. The colors are very rich–I’m very pleased with the quality, and I’m also ecstatic that I do not have to print them here at the studio. Ya know… painters just wanna paint! Professional printers are a blessing to one-woman shops. 😉

Have a great week everyone!

Calligraphy practice is my meditation

How I use my art journals for calligraphy practice

Every since third grade handwriting class, I’ve had a love affair with letters and making beautiful script. Mrs. Patterson’s class with the letter charts decorating the wall above the chalkboards (no white board then people) was my favorite time of the school day.

Throughout my early school years and then into college, I practiced a variety of styles and kept a keen interest in alphabet forms and the history of calligraphy in general. These days, I blend my art journal images with calligraphy practice in various sketchbooks and planners.

365 days of art journal designs

I currently have four different diaries, or journals that I have committed to practice in daily throughout the year. Most spreads are not planned out and grow intuitively as the verse, or song, or image is chosen. I have a small box of ephemera which contains paper images that I have made, some that have been rubber stamped, and older pieces of my art that have been re-purposed as “collage” material.

Most often, it is simply a process of reaching in and pulling out surprises. Yes, a small pile of bits are often sifted through and more often than not, a page direction is serendipitously created. It truly is a joy to see things come together as paint, paper, and ink are merged into an artistic message.

Simple, slow living–mindfulness and art as meditation. The joys of art supplies and streaming music in my studio, playing with color, form, line, and words. I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

 The art and calligraphy journals of 2017…

Sumi ink with a dip pen in my Hobonichi Techo. Watercolors.

Washi tape. Watercolors. Sumi ink and colored pencil. Moleskine pocket-sized daily diary.

Watercolors and brush lettering in the beautiful Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

Watercolors and dip pen calligraphy in a Leuchtturm sketchbook.

Watercolors in my daily Hobonichi art and quotes journal. Moon Palace Sumi ink.

I ordered a blank, wooden oblique holder from Paper Ink Arts and hand painted acrylic florals around the base. Practicing curly a alphabet style in my Peter Pauper Press grid notebook.

… and so continues the 2017 art and calligraphy journey.

Art journal process in my Traveler’s notebook

I bought the 2 month, daily Midori insert (005) for January and February. Each day has a header along with a gridded page. Each day I am trying to create art, log about the events of the day, or use the space to write notes from my reading selections.

I decorate the pages using various stickers, rubber stamps, altered magazine images, and ink pads.

I found these alpha cling stamps at one of the craft stores (yes, I forgot which one). The clear acrylic blocks help me to keep the letters lined up well.

Stamping the finished lettering on an old atlas that had been printed several times on my Gelliplate.

Most of the time I used a simple glue stick for journal work. This one seems to do just fine, although there is a Craft Bond which I have used in the past too.

Inexpensive fountain pens can be purchased on Ebay. This one is a Jinhao with a fine point. I bought it some time ago, and cannot remember the specific number. I filled it with Noodler’s Lexington Gray that arrived in the mail the other day. The good think about this Lexington Gray ink is that it is waterproof. So if I needed to, I could go over the writing with watercolors.

I usually journal in a variety of books, but I guess my go-to choice is usually the Midori inserts. I enjoy the paper texture and the shape of the regular Traveler’s Notebook. For my sketchbooks and more painterly journals, I enjoy Stillman & Birn, Strathmore, and Canson brands. What are your favorite art journals and tools?

Hobonichi Art Journal Flip

Patience is the name of the game when uploading videos to YouTube, but due to several requests, I’m giving YouTube another try. Unfortunately, uploading speeds are notoriously slow, at least for me here at home, and the frustration level peaks when dealing with the wait times as the videos process at a snail’s pace.

But it’s there! Finally! The YouTube video has processed. It is just a flip through of my Hobonichi Techo Art Journal so far for 2017 with some commentary on the techniques and supplies that I used. If there are any specific videos you would like to see, please leave me a comment below! 🙂

Printing with craft foam

For many people in the mixed media world, this is nothing new. But I find people are generally amused by the use of simple materials to create impressions and designs in mixed media art journal spreads.

Although I have demonstrated this on Periscope, I thought a quick visual overview on the blog would help you get started.

Any craft foam found in the craft stores will work. I’ve used the thinner foam, and it was just okay. I guess you will have to experiment, but I personally like the medium-thick kind. And of course, I threw out the label, so… ahem–yeah, I can’t tell you the exact thickness in any helpful measurement form. Aaaagh.

Select any stamp pad ink, depending on your personal preference and paper needs. In this demonstration I am stamping directly into my Hobonichi Techo with VersaMagic Gingerbread chalk ink.

Just trim off a little piece to desired shape, and use a blunt, yet pointed instrument to press a design into the foam. I like using a steel crochet hook. Press hard enough to leave a mark, yet not so hard you rip right through to the other side! That’s really all there is to it… tap the finished design onto an ink pad like you would with any rubber stamp and print your original image on ephemera or directly into your journal.

Sometimes if I want to keep my fingers clean, I will use double-sided tape on the back, which makes for a cleaner inking and stamping process. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to add an artsy, one-one-a-kind look to your journals. I store my foam stamps in pretty boxes from Tuesday Morning–beware, it gets addicting. Have fun!!!!

New Stationery Journal Cards

If you know me at all, you understand that all this marketing and techie stuff makes my head spin. Often I find myself wrestling with Photoshop or InDesign, which only furthers my belief that I am and will always be of the “analog” creative type. Paintbrush hairs, spilled ink, stained fingers, and acrylic paint mysteriously appearing in the oddest of places. Yes, give me the tools of the stone ages!

Still, offering printed materials of my original work is both a necessity, as well as a labor of love. I do enjoy sharing my images with my journal and stationery planner friends, even though I must battle my way through the scanning, uploading, and printing decisions.

So the good news is that I conquered a design challenge this week, and I managed to get some digital files off to the printing company. Yes, I tried to print these journal/tip-ins at home… on my deskjet, on various brands of cardstock, at various ink settings.  AGGY! It was not pretty! My standards are too high, so I was happy to hire someone for the printing process.

You can find these in my Etsy shop. Yes, I’d rather have a shopping cart system here on the blog, but that’s a whole other techie universe. And well… you can obviously see where I am lacking those special skills.

Thank you to my sweet and encouraging customers. You know I just wanna paint! 🙂

Now In the Etsy shop!


Now In the Etsy shop!