Saturday, March 25, 2017

Welcome to Life Documented Week with Kristi Nazzaro – Instagram: soul_positive

 Tag Tutorial 

Theme: April Showers
Quote: Will Vary Using Words Created with Salvaged Words

I have recently rescued a few coverless books on one of my art adventures.  I thought it would be fun to design a tag around some salvaged words.  I found in my new/old books.  Keeping the monthly theme of  "April Showers" in mind, I chose  "be ever mindful" and "before the rain" as my words for this blog post.

I began by gathering my supplies.  I knew I wanted to make a larger tag.  This one is 4" x 8" in size.  I purchased a pack of these tags from Ali Edwards.  I love color, especially rainbows so I knew that I would incorporate rainbow colors in this tag.

List of Supplies (Links if Possible)
·         Patterned Paper
·         Dictionary Page
·         Deli Paper
·         UHU Glue Stick
·         Charcoal Pencil (black)
·         Acrylic Paint
·         Collage Pauge (Traci Bautista)
·         Make Up Sponges
·         Sewing Machine
·         Recycled Ribbons (Darn Good Yarn)

I began this tag by gluing the dictionary page directly on to the front of the manila tag.


I find that if you put the glue on the actual tag, and concentrate on the edges, you can then press the dictionary page down and trim the excess off after it dries a bit.  This is an easier process for me as I find it produces less wrinkles in the dictionary sheet.  You can flip it over and press down firmly to assist the adhesion process.  

Now that I had the background of the dictionary page I decided that I would hand cut a heart out of deli paper that I had used in between one of my art journals.  As you can see there were many colors and smudges on the deli paper.

I then glued the deli paper heart down with Collage Pauge. I’d like to make a note here: if I were to do a tag similar to this again, I would save the gluing of the heart until AFTER I added my torn pieces of rainbow patterned paper.  I think it would have saved me from trimming and fussing so much with the torn pieces.

After the deli paper heart dried completely I went around the heart with a charcoal pencil. I dipped the charcoal pencil in water first and went around the edges of the heart.

My next step was to tear pieces of rainbow patterned 
paper and go around the heart – like rays of rainbow 
sunshine shooting out of the heart.  This is where I 
discovered I should have saved gluing the deli paper 
heart until last. Ah we live and learn.


See the photos below. Very much like the dictionary page, if you glue the torn pieces of patterned paper down and allow them to extend over the edges,it’s much easier to go back and trim them later.  I find that you worry less about matching them up or tearing them to size this way.  It not only saves time but it really does give you a little bit more control over your piece.

My next step was to again go over the heart with the black charcoal pencil.  This time I used the pencil dry and used a water brush to add more smudge.


Throughout the process of creating this tag I allowed ample drying time between the layers.  Deli paper is fragile especially when wet.

My next step was to add a stencil in between my rainbow rays.  I chose a small square stencil from Dylusions.  I began by stenciling single colors in the squares using a cut piece of make-up sponge.  As the process moved forward – I mixed some of the colors on the make-up sponge to give a rainbow effect in the squares.

I used my charcoal pencil to go around the edges and again used a water pen to smudge it up.  Can you tell I love a smudge?


After the tag was dry I proceeded to add my salvaged words with Collage Pauge.  I then added white and black acrylic splatter paint and a few little hand painted dot marks.  I then stitched around the tag with my sewing machine. I always leave the thread tails long.

Using a standard sized hole punch and using the original hole as a guide, I punched a whole and added some recycled ribbon from Darn Good Yarn and called it a day.  This rainbow tag will make anybody happy on a rainy day. 

I hope you will try and make a tag or two using salvaged words as your inspiration.  Sticking with that theme I am happy to announce a Life Documented 2017 Salvaged Words Snail Mail Swap.  Information and signups will be posted in the Facebook group.  Thank you so much for following along.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Welcome to Life Documented Week 12- with Francisca Nunes

Hi creative friends!! I'm very happy to be here and I'm honored to be the guest for this week prompt. 

Prompt: doodle and use bloom Mandalas
Technique:  play with washes and drips of watercolors
Quote: "If we remain afraid and closed off we never know what it feels like to bloom" by Lori Schaefer

The month theme is bloom, and for me, mandalas are like geometric flowers, or a fusion between geometric designs with a variety of flower elements. And as I love to draw mandalas I thought to suggest to play with mandalas this week. The technique that I suggest is to play with watercolors. Play with a variety of washes and drips of watercolors. 

As you know, if you follow my pages here on Life Documented, I like to do an art journal page on my journal but I still like to make the little pocket art card that we used to do last year in Documented Life Project.

So I decided to do both and an extra, a little tag to write the quote, that I really love. 
When I saw this quote it meant a lot to me. When I tackle my pages I sometimes battle with being closed and afraid.  In this group there are certainly many of you that do your pages and your art but get closed and have been afraid to show to others within the group. We tend to be very rigid with our work and compare to others all too often. So this quote is to incentivize you to share your work without fear. Play and just have fun. Don't get to rigid with yourself. Share your art, give yourself the happiness to bloom.

This is my interpretation for this week prompt and techniques. Hope you enjoy. 

Well, the first thing I did was to play with washes of watercolor and draw the mandalas. This is the centre of my work this week, and I used the mandalas that I drew in the three pieces that I created.

1. In sheets of a chemistry book I add washes and drips of watercolor

2. I draw/doodle mandalas

This is only an example of my process to do my mandalas. I like imperfections, so i don't use a compass most of the time, I just draw. Do several of them, play and have fun. I only use a micron pen to draw. 

3. Cut all the mandalas and cut them into halves

For my journal page I saved two halves of mandalas for the card and the tag and use all the rest for this page. 

1. I add swipes of color to my page
2. I collage the mandalas, like a bouquet
3. I doodle some feathers


4. I add some black paint to add contrast

5. Then with acrylic paint I add more contrast color to the mandalas.

6. In the end I add lots of marks.

For the pocket art card and for the little tag I used half of two mandalas that I drew.

 Again I played with washes of watercolors.

1. Wet your cards and then add washes of watercolor.
2. Add marks with bubble plastic. After it drys the dot marks will remain.

3. Collage half of one mandala ( I love to add my drawings to my mixed media work)

 4. Doodle some flowers ( we are playing with bloom mandalas and flowers)
5. Add some white paint 

6. I used acrylic paint to add some color to my flowers. I added some fluorescent pink to the background.
7. Add marks to the card. I use acrylic paint and pens.

8. To finish I add some stitches to my card. (You know how I love that!!!) I really love the result of these marks on the card. 

For the little tag I use the same technique that I use on the PAC.

1. Glue on the top of the tag half of one mandala.

2. Add more color and some marks

3. Stitch all around the card

4. I wrote the quote on the little tag.

After all is done let’s put all together!!!

I painted a page where I'm going to journal the week, and i made a little pocket folder to put the PAC and the tag.

Hope you really like my suggestions for this week. I know this post turn out big, but I loved to do all!!! :)

Eager to see your creations!!!

Big kiss 

You can find my work here:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Welcome to Life Documented Week 11 with Suz

 Hi everyone!

Theme is Bloom

Prompt is use stamps, cutting one from an eraser

Quote: I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die.
I will be difficult to find and Impossible to forget-Erin Van Vuren

This week I thought we would do a stamp or stamps, making one of the stamps you use out of an eraser.  I'm not talking about like carve December where there are all those intricate designs you see although they are beautiful.  I am talking more about grabbing an eraser and making a stamp to use as a mark maker.  Of course I know this has been done but you can also think outside the box to use them in a group to make something entirely different.

Here are the ones I have made and I used a paring knife.  👀  OMGosh you say. How dumb but believe me you can use anything to cut.  So here are mine and the bumpy one at the bottom is my new one I carved for this week. It is a giant eraser I got at the dollar store.  (When looking for the large erasers online it looks like they are discontinuing them in a lot of places so get out and get what you can find if you want some.  They have them at Walmart too.)  You can use the whole thing or cut it down.  The others are made using smaller erasers.  That wonky circle I use as a flower or flower center sometimes.  The first thing I do after carving is apply ink and stamp to see if I want to do anything else to the stamp.

I add some swipes of color to my page and then start stamping.  I have also used corks and stuff I have found and glued them to old stiff cards or just cardboard. The leaf shape is the remnants of an eraser that I just sliced off the outer edges to get the shape.  I start stamping the different shapes and with the new one I made I stamp over and over in the same place using different colors.

Over in the left bottom is a stamp I made to look like a rain drop.  When I turned it upside down I have a flower.  The one to the right of that I made as a petal to stamp in a circle but turned upside down here to make a group of individual flowers.  I then dabbed paint. in areas and colors to define different flowers.  

Below is the next page that I swiped color and began stamping my excess color.

Then I took a store bought stamp and stamped it in the yellow, over and over adding some white to the mix.  It gives you texture to stamp over in the same areas,  The light pink one is a foam stamp I bought at Michaels in the kids crafts. 

I used a stamp to stamp the days of the week and it is from Amy Tangerine.  Any letter stamp will work.  I have a silhouette portrait that sometimes I cut some numbers out and use them for the days of the week.  I got a scrap of paper and washi taped on the edge of the page and swiped some white on it(bottom of page).  It reminded me of a garden gate.  I have gotten some flowers in swaps so added them to the gate and added some paint and marks.  You can paint and cut your own flowers.  I have done this on all kinds of scrap paper.  

Then I added pencil marks and black pen to define my flower shapes.  You can also go back in at this time and add a little paint to define also.

I added a card in for journaling that I got from Chantal in a swap and underneath is my to do list for this week.  

Here is the second page with the pencil marks added and by the word Thursday are some more flowers I made and some from a swap.  The flags I cut out from scraps of paper and drew around with black marker.  I hope I am just giving you some ideas for your own work.  

Here are the finished pages.  I just added some butterfly stickers I had from Sticko and put a ribbon in the card under the gate.

Here is a little bonus and I got the idea from Paivi at Peony and Parakeet.  She did this as a design but I am using it just to decorate book pages.  Just drop two or three like colors of watercolor on a book page.  Let them dry.  Go in and add random stems and leaves then you can use them as a background, or cut them out to use on pages or if you use lighter colors you can use them as your journaling spots.

There are also a couple things I also use as stamps.  The square is just a foam square.  You can heat it up with a dryer and stamp into it also and have a remnant of a shape to stamp.  

And that's it!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it has given you some ideas.

Products used:

Erasers, and it looks like they are discontinuing the very large erasers in some places but the small ones you can get at the dollar store and Walmart or any office store.

I always use this pen for fine lines and it is one a couple dollars US so I don't know why they have such a big price on this.

Amsterdam Reflex Rose
This is also at Blick for less money

I got Americana at Hobby Lobby

I also found them at Painting Crafts

I used Peacock Teal but any of their aqua colors are pretty. 

I got this Titanium White on sale a Jerry's Artarama and it is really thick and lasts a long time.  I usually add water or Airbrush Medium to thin it.  It has lasted me the longest of any paint I have ever had.

For the watercolors any old set will do.  Blick sells a nice field set of Koi Watercolors but I have also bought kids sets in stores.  They aren't as bright but still fun to use.

This is the stamp I used and you just may need to google Amy Tangerine stamps if you want this one as they are sold at different prices in different places.  I have had most of my supplies for awhile and I go to the dollar bins at Michaels and have found some letter and number stamps too.  This one is from Overstock.

These are Sticko brand stamps.  I like them because they are inexpensive and lay flat in the planner.  They have them at Michaels but I also found them at 123Stitch, and here is a search where you might find something in your area.