Tag Archives: progress photos

The Next Chapter…

Last week I showed you my first layers of two collages I started in the online class I’m taking from Anne Marie Grgich: A First Layer

I have made some progress during the last week.  It feels like I have added the next chapter in my collage stories.

I turned this canvas upside down and discovered the close-up of a face, do you see it?

I added some facial features and details, in addition to acrylic paint that I tinted with clear tar gel (which is like a super thick gel medium):

I think adding the yellow and turquoise paint helps bring more cohesion.

And in my second collage, I decided to create a mermaid.  I added more collage images in layers and paint… The progress is more subtle in the photo on the right:

I’m enjoying the process and learning new techniques as I progress.  These collages are like a puzzle or mystery to solve!

I hope you are enjoying the journey with me…

Cheers! 🙂

A Handmade Journal – Part 2

Today I will show you how to make a book cover for your handmade journal.  This post is a continuation of Part 1.

Below is a photo of my completed journal covers using Gelli-printed papers:


I discovered from my research online and several books on book making that journal covers can be anything you can punch or drill a hole into – as long as it won’t cut your thread!  Glass wouldn’t be a good cover in my opinion.  😉  Another thing to consider is strength and durability of your cover if you will be hauling it around.

You can add a decoration to the front such as a found object or some other ornamentation but you may want to keep it flat if you will be painting in it.

I found that Dick Blick and Amazon both sell bookmaking supplies.  I know there are other companies that specialize in bookmaking materials also.

Recycling old book covers like this one are also an option:


One of my books suggested cutting up old paintings done on canvas or illustration board which I think would be a great repurposing idea!

Davey board, also known as Book board is popular with bookmakers because it is archival and inexpensive.  Mine did not arrive in time for this post so I improvised by using the cardboard backing on a pad of Fabriano watercolor paper:


Be sure to use a box cutter when cutting your book board on a protected surface.  An Exacto knife is not strong enough.

You can cut your cover board the same size as your signatures or allow 1/8 to 1/4 extra around your paper.  I chose to have a little extra space:


My Gelli-printed papers were 9 x 12 inches in size so they covered the outside of my boards.  I used other paper to cover the board on the inside of my book.


I drew a pencil line around my board on the back of my papers so I knew where to cut my corners of my paper.  It also helped with gluing to keep my board centered:

I discovered after I cut my corners that I didn’t leave enough allowance for the thickness of my board in my corners so they didn’t fit as snuggly as I would have liked.  Next time I think I will fold my edges first before I clip the corners.

Folding ALL my paper edges with a bone folder BEFORE I added glue was extremely helpful because the glue dries very quickly.

PVA glue was recommended by bookmakers.  I purchased this recommended brand from Amazon along with this glue brush:


I started by gluing the back of the board to the paper and found the glue brush helpful in spreading the glue evenly.  (I kept the brush soaking in water in between uses so that it didn’t dry on the brush.  I removed most of the water on a paper towel before I used it again.)

After I glued the back, I applied the glue to each fold directly – one fold at time – and used the bone folder to press the fold evenly to the board.  It helped to have some paper towels to mop up the excess glue.

Once the edges were glued, I finished my cover by gluing a solid piece of paper to the inside board:


In my next post, I will show you how to attach the book covers to the signature pages using Coptic binding.  This binding is wonderful because it allows your book to stay open and flat when drawing or painting in it.

Please check out Annie Glacken’s blog – she was Charlie’s Guest Doodlewasher on September 16:    https://doodlewash.com/2016/09/16/guest-doodlewash-unwrapping-gifts-with-sketchbook-journaling/

Annie has some lovely sketchbook journals and also shares her tips on making a handmade journal along with 2 excellent YouTube videos from Sea Lemon.

I hope you enjoyed my instructions and I look forward to hearing about your handmade book covers!

I plan to post Part 3 of my bookmaking series next Thursday, September 29th.

Cheers Friends!  🙂


Kathy’s Hummingbird

Since today is “Draw A Bird Day,” hosted by Laura at Create Art Everyday, I decided to try a hummingbird.  (I hope Laura will come back to blogging as I miss her creative experiments!)

I saw a hummer on Kathy’s blog, Backyard Bird Nerd last week, titled:  “Tis The Season.”  I loved how she captured the hummingbird resting in her photo like I painted here:


I started by a pencil sketch on cold-press watercolor paper:


Next, I outlined it with a fine tip, “Elegant Writer” pen made by Speedball:


This pen is made for calligraphy but as you can see below, it activates with water:


I love the pinks that appeared from this pen!  I learned how to do this by watching the YouTube video by watercolor and mixed media artist, Karlyn Holman:


I finished my painting by adding some watercolors to my bird and softening the background:


This was a fun experiment that I hope to try again!  Thanks Kathy Doremus for inspiring my art with your AWESOME photos!

Happy Painting!  🙂

Poppies and Sunflowers

I finally finished my third big blooms painting!  I have been working on it for some time because I decided to add collage papers to it instead of pastels as I did for my first and second large flower paintings.

Below are progress photos of my acrylic painting before collage:

Once I was somewhat pleased with my painting, I added collage papers that I did on the Gelli plate previously.  I cut them out of my deli printed papers and glued them over my painted flowers with Liquitex gloss medium, paying attention to lights and darks.

On the second one above, I painted over some of the gelli prints that I added to the vase and the background to help blend the colors.  Below is a close-up on the collage at two different stages:


And below is my finishing touches – the one on the right is the completed painting:

You may be wondering what the purple flower is?  Well, I kind of made it up!  I liked the color combination!  Lol!

Happy Creating!  🙂

My Bleeding Heart Fairy – Done!

I can imagine my sweet fairy hovering under the tender leaf of a Bleeding Heart as its flowers unfold in the Spring warmth:


I have enjoyed reading your comments as I progressed on my collage.  It is nice to know that we can ALL allow our imaginations to create wonderful stories on our canvas, sketchbook or wherever we create our art!

I wanted to show you my beginning piece next to my completed one:

Be sure to keep your eyes open for a tiny fairy in you garden or a walk in the woods!  You never know where one will turn up next!

Cheers!  🙂

Bleeding Heart

I decided to add the Bleeding Heart plant to my collage that I started yesterday.

I researched the flower on the Internet to get a feel for the shape of its flower and leaves.  I then sketched my layout in pencil.


I glued my Gelli-printed papers that I did on deli paper to my collage. The papers have a nice transparentcy to them which I like.

Flower TriviaAccording to the Internet – The bleeding heart plant has been grown for centuries in China and Korea as well as in Japan. In 1740, a German botanist, J. G. Gmelin, first brought a living plant to Russia for a botanical garden where he worked. The Royal Horticulture Society brought the plant to Western Europe through the work of Robert Fortune in 1847.  The plant traveled to America as a gift for Valentine’s Day because of the heart shape of the blossoms. While the preference of bleeding heart plants for the garden waned in Europe, it became a popular garden perennial here.

Next, I will add acrylic paint to my collage.  I like to use Golden Fluid Acrylics. So I hope you check in tomorrow for the next step!

Happy Saturday – May you have a happy heart!  🙂

Angel Food Cake

Lately, I have been struggling with creative ideas… So I decided to start a collage!  Here is my beginnings on a 8×10 inch canvas board – doesn’t she look like a sweet angel?


I randomly chose pages from these books (and fabric pattern) I purchased at thrift stores, yard sales and antique markets:

materials for collage on 2-4-16

The papers I choose help me create a story yet I do not think too much about which papers I’m selecting before I glue them down.  I also like to include an old photo of someone I do not know.  I usually make a copy to preserve the original photo.

Next, I glue them to a surface with Liquitex Gloss Medium and use an old credit card to remove any air bubbles.

A morsel of trivia – According to Wikipedia, the first cookbook to contain an angel food cake recipe was in 1878 from Isabella Stewart in The Home Messenger Book of Tested Recipes.  

Tomorrow, I will show you my next step!

Happy Creating!  🙂