Monday, May 29, 2017

Tree (as Spirit) is ready

I have been making my Tree journal
 for the next round of the Australian Art Journal Swap
 that I run through our facebook group
 the Australian Art Swap Group

I am a passionate tree lover 
and see trees as sacred and have so many ideas
 of pages to do on this theme

My journal is made using Stonehenge print making paper for the signatures - this is my favorite mixed media paper ever and I usually use it for any hand made book binding I create, and I used some repurposed Arches heavy weight water colour paper for the covers. I wanted a really heavy strong cover as I knew I wanted to include a "tree" 

 The tree I wanted to include I found in a local street it is an actual branch but resembles a whole tree and has been flattened by being run over by cars but was still so beautiful I saw it as a metaphor for life, so often we can be run over but we do still have a real beauty.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


I have spent the past five days getting my round 5 journal ready to send out for another exciting adventure. While deciding what I wanted to make, I came across the lace covered envelope that was sent to me by Faye in a recent flowish journal swap and I knew I really wanted to use this as my cover. It is sturdy and flexible and light wieght, and would be great for traveling around our beautiful country to other artists.

 This is what the fabric covered envelope from Faye looked like on the outside.

This is the inside of the cover also showing the cardboard strips for the spine

I cut the size I wanted, 7inches by 9 inches which to me is a comfortable size to use. Then I grabbed my bronze acrylic paint and brushed it over the outside cover...I was in a 'bronze' coloured mood...LOL

 I had to strengthen the spine so I cut two rounghly 1 inch strips that I used to place on the inside and outside of the spine. It wasn't staying glued with the wet glue I had on hand so I ended up sewing the strips together using my old but working sewing machine and even though a little crooked, it turned out fine. I also painted the strips in bronze to match the patch painting I had on the cover.

 Sewing the two strips on for the spine wasn't as hard as I first thought it would be. I just took my time and went slow so I didn't break the needle.
 I was very happy with the way the outside cover of my journal was looking but for the inside I wanted something a bit different, so I glued down a heap of magazing words onto a piece of paper and then photocopied the word covered paper in black and white.

This is the sheet of paper I used to glue down the magazine words then photocopy

I then used black paint to paint around the edges of the inside cover.

And then used double sided tape and a glue stick to glue down the photocopies on the inside front and back cover of my journal...I liked it a lot and it was different.
Once happy with my cover I ripped the 130gsm pages, 7x9 in,  for the journal and used a basic phamphlet stitch with three holes and using organza ribbon to sew them in to the cover.  As you can see in the picture above.

I am very happy with the look and feel of my journal for Round 5 in our Australian Art Journal Swap and I look forward to seeing and working in all the other journal in this round. Thank you xox

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I was looking at all the wonderful amazing layouts already done in Natasha's Goddess journal and giving myself a bit of a hard time as to what I wanted to do that would even compare to the already fabulous pages, so I did quite a lot of thinking and then a bit more....then one night when I was sitting on our balcony looking up into the amazing sky, I started wondering if there was a 'moon goddess'. Hmmm..., there should be, so that's when I did a little research and what do you know, there definitely was moon goddesses.

When I started my page I tried to capture the stillness of the night and the solitude of the full moon just sitting there being as glorious as it could be. I gessoed my page and used the shades of blue I could find in my stash, drew a huge circle on the page and I was set to bring my page to life. To get some shading over the moon I used a sponge and some vintage ink and it looked pretty cool. I painted my mixed blue background but it wasn't what I really wanted, it just looked like a full moon over the ocean so I ended up using some black acrylic paint to darken around the edges of the page which to me gave it a more mysterious stillness effect. I really liked the way it was shaping up.

This is my background done....

After I felt completely happy with my background, I actually left it for a couple of days to give me time to decide on what to do as my focal point for my Goddess. I was so thrilled when I was flicking through an old magazine and I found this rather large image of a lady and lo' and behold, I had my focal point, well, my symbolic Goddess. I splattered some white paint on the background and then used a tacky glue to paste her down. She was just the right size to fit on the right hand side of the pages and she looks like she is gazing down at the moon. When I was pleased with my layout I then remembered that I had to paint the flaps of the pages that folded down and up....then I was finished.

I added a small tag Natasha had provided and on the bottom flap that turned up I wrote 'Goddess of the Moon'...leaving out an actual name added to the mystery of her.

Natasha's journal is now on it's way back to her and I'm sure she is going to find all the work done in it amazing just as I did. Thank you and Have a great day! xox

Friday, May 12, 2017

Round 3- Creatures of the Bay. By Deb Stephens

 Round 3= Deb's entry in Joan's Creatures of the Bay Journal 

Hello again! Joan's Journal was so interesting as it was an old photo album that had been recycled into an art Journal. There were many pockets protecting our journalling and also heaps of magazine cut outs and maps etc that we could use with the theme. There was a strong recycling theme going through but Joan said we didn't have to stick with it and to just have fun so I did.
I am a little mermaid obsessed, and so I thought well they could live in "The Bay" too right?
so I got some gesso and some background colour down. I originally wanted spirals in the background in blues, but I didn't get the results  I wanted so I smudged it all with baby wipes. while it was wet I pushed pieces of Tulle into the page.  I had a trim that looked like roses on tule and I thought they looked a bit like underwater weeds so I put them onto the edges of the pages.As I am very impatient, I got my heat gun out and started drying, but then the tulle started to crinkle up and shrink and burn and I LOVED it! I had a few Beachy type embellishments from a swap years ago and decided to put those in as well. 
I them put some embossing paste over a stencil and dropped some midnight sparkle coloured embossing over the top of it... Instructions said "wait till it dries before heating".bahahhahahah...Me? Wait?? Heatgun attack! and it Puffed up beautifully to give the page more texture.

My little mermaids are layered stamps and the Queen of the Bay is a Prima/Julie Nutting doll stamp. I stamped her on one of the pages from the back of the book , cut it out and then attached sequences to her tail. I then glued her down onto the page. 

I used my really old dymo labeller to punch out the quote and then stuck that down too. I love how some of the mini mermaid tails lift off the page. I hope you enjoy this Joan! Happy Crafting everyone!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Round 4 and Round 5 are coming.

It is very exciting over at the Australian Art Swap Group with us all getting ready for the next round of our Art Journal round robin.

Positions are filling fast and there are some fabulous themes being considered. To keep the circle tight and length of swap manageable we are slitting into 2 groups Round 4 and Round 5 

I am going with
 because I am a tree lover
I lover their beauty and their meanings
i love there space in our world
I love the sound of the wind in their branches
I love the life cycle of deciduous trees
I love the promise in a seed
I love to get my hands in the earth and grow trees
I love to watch them grow
I love to climb them , sit under them, look at them.
I love trees

There are also a plethora of clever and lovely art journal pages online about trees to inspire my fellow artists. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Round 3 - Deb's entry in Rose's Bird Journal

Birds are not a subject that are dear to my heart so I struggled with this theme. But I do like Owls, I'm not exactly why or what about them appeals, I just do.
So I started by placing a birch tree stencil on my page and using some metallic shimmer sprays got a background I liked. After that I photocopied and enlarged a template of an Owl's head that I could trace onto the pages. I then used a fine line pen to fill in the various section with Zentangle patterns. This was very therapeutic e to do ,even though I think my attempt is a bit amateurish.
I hand wrote the quote (not sure who it is actually by) and then applied some Rubons' that I have had in my stash for ages. So this was a quick Blog entry (apologies for the delay) and the Journal will leave my hands and head back to Rosie this week. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lisa J's Summer Journal - Home!

I sent my Summer journal off on its journey some 13 months ago and it returned home a few days ago.  Some of the pages were a surprise as not everyone blogged about their entries.

So here it is in its entirety!   I made the journal after checking out a few videos online, and it hasn't fallen apart which is very pleasing!  Here's the cover:

On the first page I wrote some stuff about me, and my rules/requirements for this journal.  Basically, what does summer mean to you?  

I did the first page in watercolour, from a photo my husband Scott took at dusk, down at the beach we like to frequent when we can get away for a weekend.  Which is not often enough with work and kids' sports!

The next page is a collage done by Robyn.  So bright and colourful!

Gail's page is also a collage, and I think some may be napkins?  I really love the quote, it's so true!

Next is Pam's entry - a mix of painting and collage.  The sand has little tiny beads through it and the water has heaps of texture too.  Love the bathing boxes!

I hadn't seen Nat's entry, so it was a wonderful surprise!  A gorgeous painting of a girl up close with a soldier crab.  And the crab has great features that you probably can't see well enough in a photo.

Next up is Wendy's cool surfer dude!  This page is a mix of painting and collage and I love how it turned out.

Lee's page was another that I hadn't seen.  It's a digital piece that has been printed and it's so different and quirky!

Deb's spread is all about looking out the kitchen window to the view beyond.  Wouldn't it be nice to look out at the beach and see the sun setting down over the ocean!  I love all the elements in this page.

Rose's page is so simple but so effective!  She likes to watch the tennis in summer.

Joan's page is a wonderful mix of painting and collage.  All the elements flow so well in this piece and I really like the composition.  Great waves too!

This page didn't photograph very well.  Each January, the ABC play old Countdown episodes on Rage on Saturday nights!  Unfortunately they often start around midnight, but if you can keep your eyelids open for an hour or two, it's so great to watch!  I've always loved music, especially 80s stuff.  So this page is a homage to Countdown and Molly Meldrum, and some of my favourite songs of that era.

I found this cool saying in Pinterest so decided to use it in my journal.  Who doesn't like ice cream?!  When we go down to Ocean Grove, we'll often go to Queenscliff - to wander the town, and buy a double ice cream from the wonderful Nordic ice cream shop there!  

And lastly I put some blank tags in pockets in the back page so the artists that did a page in my journal could tell me a bit about themselves.  Thank you to those that filled one out!

I went a bit overboard with putting my journal together so I still have heaps of blank pages left.  I won't post it out again; at A4 size it's a bit heavy and pricey, but I'll fill it up eventually!  I've asked my daughter Mel to contribute a page when she doesn't have so much homework (year 11...)

Thanks again to everyone that contributed to my journal; it's a real treasure and something that I can keep and look back on forever!

I know we had heaps of problems with the last two swaps, but I can't wait to participate again!

Cheers, Lisa

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Joan's page in Lisa Jones's group#3 circle journal "Summer"

I am the last participant in Round #3 of the circle journal to work in Lisa's journal before it makes its way home to her.  It is a beautiful journal and I think Lisa will be very happy with all the lovely pages in it.  The theme for Lisa's journal is "Summer" and Lisa asked for participants to do a page that represented what Summer meant to them.

To me Summer is bright sunshine, water and people in colourful attire been out and about enjoying the nice weather.   I love the ocean but not necessarily the beach.  Been fair skinned, the sun and I have a healthy relationship with each other, but I do love to visit the ocean and watch the boats,birds,people swimming and all the other activities that a nice day in Summer brings. 

This page is a combination of paint, gelatoes,  tissue collage, catalogue collage, diecuts and some minimal drawing. I was quiet pleased with the composition and my minimal drawing prowess.  I think it fulfills the brief and I hope that Lisa will be happy with it.

I am lucky enough to live on the Mornington Peninsula which has beaches on both sides, Port Phillip Bay on one side and Westernport Bay on the other.   I live on the Westernport side and about 10 minute walk from the nearest beach, so very lucky. If we look out across the ocean on a clear day, we can see French Island straight across and Philip Island a little bit further on to the right, so this is not only representative of  my idea of Summer but also representative of my reality.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Faces and Figures" Guest Post by Joan

Jan's journal was in group 2 of the circle journal swap, which meant that I was not scheduled to do a page in this journal.  However when Jan had her journal returned to her at the end of its journey there were still a few blank pages in it, so she sent out a call on AASG to see if anyone else would like to do a page.  A few of us in group 3 put our hands up and I was one of them.The theme of Jan's journal was "Faces and Figures"

I received this journal towards end of December and I had planned to work in it over the Christmas and New Year period.   However in December, I unexpectedly lost my longest friend in Australia and to make it even worse, she was 10 years younger than me and had not even been ill. Anyway it knocked me back a little and made me look at little more closely at my own future. 2016 was a bad year all round for celebrities of my generation and older and many passed away. In Jan 2017 the Sun Herald newspaper printed an article in memory of most of those celebrities from around the globe and it was accompanied  by a collage of faces and figures of these stars.  When I saw this picture I immediately knew I wanted to use it for my page in the journal.

First of all I gesso and painted the background in similar colours of the collage.  The collage was set around a large swimming pool with the theme been a cocktail party, so there were lots of blue and green colouring.  I then scanned, reduced and printed the picture a couple of times on tissue paper.
I pasted  the tissue one copy on top of the other onto the painted background. That is where it was at until I went to a journal group meetup with Lynne, Lisa, Liz, etc. I took the journal with me to work on and when one of the ladies pulled out a basic face stencil to use, I thought I would like to try and use it also.  My mistake I think in retrospect was using a paste that was too thick, but hindsight is great.  Anyway I stenciled the face outline on the right hand side on top of the tissued faces. Now I cannot draw so this was a big step outside my square, even though I was using a stencil.  With a great deal of help from Lynne I managed to get a basic face but the textured paste was already set and was quiet lumpy in places and could not be removed.  Initially it was a very androgynous face and I was not sure where to go with it, however after painting and removing and adding more paint and taking it off and trying to fix eyes, nose, side of face and lips about 50 times over the next couple of weeks, it eventually turned into female, if  a somewhat scarred and battered one. During this period of trial and tribulation, in my mind she became representative of my friend Vikki, who was a natural redhead, a great horsewomen, a brilliant software developer, a professional photographer and a friend to many especially me.  So she stayed, and after adding some text and some doodled borders, I decided it was finished.  I hope Jan can live with this at least for a little while and then she can give her a fond farewell, before covering it all with gesso.


Thursday, March 9, 2017


Today, I remembered I had not blogged and shown pictures of my work in Deb's Pinterest Inspired Journal. I found working on the loose pages rather relaxing and after spending hours and then a few more hours going through the pictures on Pinterest, I finally found some inspiration from a few pictures. Mainly a couple that I had wanted to try for a few months and then another that kind of jumped out at me and said..."Do Me!...Do Me ! of course, I did.

This is the front of the folded page with a saying "Believe You Can". The background, I have used different colours of gellatos as well as a couple of distress paint dabbers. I have done a little bit of stenciling and some stamping. Placed a slither of washi tape along the bottom of the page which gives my little angel girl something to stand on...heehee

My angel girl has been made from a left over gelli print and her legs from black cardboard and drawing  the lines on with a white paint marker. I have painted her face on the page and used a piece of one of my grandsons painting for the wings. I think she turned out pretty cool. I used a credit card to put the black paint markings on the page for added detail.

                                                             "Believe You Can"

When the page is opened this is the center layout, below. I started by laying down some bright coloured paints so when I blocked out the background colours, those colours would show through the images I had drawn. For the flower heads, I used a gelli print and I drew on the stems. The leaves were also cut from a gelli print. I used some flower stamps at the bottom of the page and went over them with a black gel pen and some highlights with a white signo pen. I drew the shape of the raindrops and the background colours can be seen through them. Pretty cool effect, I think.

                                          "You can't make a rainbow without alittle rain"

I was very happy with the outcome of this page and found that I actually like doing this 'blocking' technique and having the colourful background showing through my doodles.

The last half page was my cute little birdie. My inspiriational birdie was actually a lot brighter in colour than mine but I thoroughly enjoyed working through this process. I started with the brightly painted background and then some stenciling and stamping. I lightly drew the little birdie and then tried my hand at dry brushing the colour to fill him. A drawn little crown on his head and he was complete. I was very inspired by the one I found on Pinterest, that I can see myself trying my hand at this one again sometime. I used a white signo to highlight around the little bird and his wings and called it complete.

                                                     "Life Is An Adventure"

 So,there you go, I think you will be pleased with my contribution Deb, I had a lot of fun, especially trying to work out how it had been done in the first place. Thoroughly enjoyed this process in Deb's Journal. Thank you all and hope you enjoy! xox Wendy

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lisa J's Guest Spot in Sharon's Vintage Circus Journal

Sharon's Round 2 "Vintage Circus" journal came home to her late last year and, as she still had a few blank pages in it, I was able to do a spread!

Sharon's brief was no bright colours.  Trying to limit your palette to softer vintage colours is quite challenging!  But that's where good old Pinterest comes in.

I found this amazing black and white photo of a clown.  I'm not sure why, but it spoke to me.

Perhaps because the circuses of yesteryear are no more, and we look back wistfully in remembrance...

When I was about 7 or 8, I was living in the USA and got to see the Barnum and Bailey Ringling Bros 3 ring circus.  

What a spectacle!   So much going on under the huge canopy of the big top.  So much to see in the 3 rings - too much really!

So I created my own big top, with the old elephant balancing on a ball, the tightrope walker balancing en pointe above him...

And the strong man wielding his 300lb weights with ease, to the amazement of the crowd...

And the sad clown, about to join the party.  "Send in the Clowns".

Here's the whole scene!  

Painted this in acrylics with some water soluble pencil added.

Beautiful journal, thanks for letting me have a play Sharon!

Cheers, Lisa