Journal Page: Intuitive Mixed Media

When I decided to paint this journal spread, all I had envisioned were three faces. I didn’t know which mixed media products I would use or even which colors! I started out with three circles, created using packaging tape as a guide, and just built a scene from there.

There was no plan, no choice of colors laid out…more a grab what’s within reach and see what happens. I love being able to paint like this for myself…there’s no agenda, no motive, no end goal. When I open my journal spread, the empty pages seem full of possibility. The first stroke is usually the hardest but once I have a line, or a scribble, or a color splashed on, intuition takes over.

Have you ever painted in your journal just for the sake of the process? How did it make you feel? Scared? Anxious? Free? I’m always curious where the journey will take me and I am rarely displeased with the results. As I add more textures, more layers, more colors and more of “my self” expressively on to the page it metamorphoses into exactly what it was supposed to be.

I hope you’ll enjoy this video and be inspired to create something for the pure joy of creating…something that makes you happy inside.

Supplies

Curious about the products I use? I have listed them below.

(These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.)

All My Atoms

Cute Chemists in Rainbow Colors

I absolutely LOVE this Cute Chemists stamp from MFT Stamps, and I assure you I’m not one for cutesy stuff! But would you just look at this? I’ve only used the two main characters and a couple of hearts but you could totally create an entire lab scene with this stamp set. 

I colored my chemists with Karin markers, using the same wet-on-wet method I used for my flower girl in the Bundles of Love stamp (watch the process video if you haven’t already). I also added a touch of glitter to make the love concoctions stand out a bit, just for fun! 

For the background, I used Gelli Arts’ ladder stencil, dry embossing the pattern on heavy cardstock and then coloring over it with distress inks.

Cute chemist card

Then it was just a matter of putting the layers together on my card base and adding a sentiment (from the same stamp set) on black paper heat embossed with ultra fine white embossing powder

See you next time!

Mansi.

Bundles of Love

When I saw this Pure Innocence Bundles of Love Stamp from MFT Stamps, I knew instantly I needed to use my Karin BrushMarker pens. The girl is carrying pretty posies in a dainty basket and I love that you can add details to her dress. You can celebrate spring with an abundance of color by taking advantage of the opportunities her flowers provide. Or you can pair it up with other sentiments in your stash to create a variety of special occasion cards. The possibilities are endless!

In this process video you can see how easy it is to use the fine-tipped pigment-loaded brushes in intricate areas. You’ll also see how I don’t use more than a little drop of ink. With watercoloring, the number one rule is to allow your water to control the flow of your ink.

So, using the wet-on-wet method, I was able to get beautiful gradation in my colors by using a very little amount of ink.  

Once I finished coloring the stamped image, I fussy cut it. I didn’t want anything taking away from the coloring, so decided to turn this into a clean and simple white background card.

I did dry-embossing with the Altenew Mega Rose Stencil on the card panel as well as one of the die cut circles to make a subtle highlight area for the girl. Getting creative with sentiment placement, I used Stitched Ric Rac die cuts as a base. The sentiment “This One is For You” is from MFT’s Cup of Love stamp set.

Bundles of Love is such an apropos name for this stamp set…there are so many little details to love in it ! A sweet little honeybee and trio of sentiments complete this cheery set, so make sure you check it out. 

Hope you enjoy the video. As always please let me know if you have any questions.

Supplies

Curious about the products I use? I have listed them below.

(These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.)

See you next time!

Mansi.

Papercrafters Unite Against Racism

If you’re here from Dana’s Kraft Paper Stamps blog, welcome! If you haven’t visited her blog, yet, please do!

When Justine Hovey sent a call out for paper crafters to partner up and make our voices heard in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, I was all in. I’ve been journaling and painting my thoughts out because words aren’t easy to come by, and I am grateful that these art sessions have led to some deeply meaningful conversations with my young daughter. 

PaperCrafters Unite Against Racism Poster

The goal of this hop is to come together to stand behind our crafty sisters and brothers of color not just in the art industry, but also to show our support in the never-ending fight for equality all over
the world.

For this blog hop, I decided to go back to the basics: skin color. At the core of it all is the value attached to how much melanin your body has. It’s absurd, really, that your skin should dictate how you’re perceived and treated.

I’m unable to explain to my six-year-old why it’s ok for lighter-skinned people to feel superior to those with darker skin…why there is so much systemic bias in our societies worldwide against those who are dark, why humanity takes a backseat when it comes to skin color…why we still run commercials promoting fairness products and try home treatments to get whiter skin. Why fairness is desirable and dark skin demonized…

Isn’t it what’s inside that matters? The color of the skin is purely a coincidence of genetic materials co-mingling…it doesn’t make you who you are! More than anything else, what makes us human is empathy, kindness and respect. It’s our heart, our mind, our soul that makes us human. Not the color of our skin. 

With this card, I wanted to share how we are all joined by the common thread of kindness…there may be gaps in our understanding of what we consider “the other” but those gaps can be filled with education, with empathy and with kindness. We may all look different on the outside but we can all strive to be the same on the inside. 

We have to listen harder to the voices that have been suppressed for centuries, do better to support those who have been marginalized, and be better every day in our thoughts and actions, so that our future generations focus more on what counts inside over what appears outside. 

To continue on this blog hop, please visit Ingrid’s blog next.

Also, here is a list of Instagram Accounts of Black Crafters (Thanks Kristina Werner!) and a List of Ways to Help (Thanks Jennifer McGuire!)

If you’re looking for a way to help, please consider donating to one of the following charities:

Black Table Arts – organizes and brings in black artists into communities and provides creative spaces for leadership

The Loveland Project – helps provide therapy for black women and girls

Fair Fight – a movement to ensure free and fair elections

Black Girls Code – a movement to increase women of color in STEM fields and exposes girls to computer science and technology

The Bail Project – mission to combat mass incarceration and reshape the pretrial system in the United States and helps reunite families.

Supplies

Curious about my cardmaking supplies? I have listed my most-used items below. These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.

Specifically for this card, I used a Gelli Arts gel plate in conjunction with Brea Reese alcohol inks to get the skin colors. Next, I used Concord & 9th’s Sew Seasonal Dies to cut out the leaf shapes and sewed them together with a gold thread. I thought My Favorite Things Cross Stitch Die in combination with the Stitched Circle Die cut to make a backdrop for the leaves (representing holes in our understanding of “the other”). Last, I added the Altenew Be Kind Sentiment, which really drives the point home. 

A Post for Pride Month

Today, I bring you a colorful, cheery post celebrating Pride Month and all that’s good about humanity!

Rainbows signify happiness to me and I love that these colors are deeply associated with the LGBTQ movement in America, signifying the diversity in the community but also each colors holds its own symbolism:

  • life (red),
  • healing (orange),
  • sunlight (yellow),
  • nature (green),
  • harmony/peace (blue),
  • spirit (purple/violet)

Blending the colors in this card signified harmony and unity and the sentiment I chose spoke to that symbolism as well.

I used My Favorite Things’ Splotchy Dot Background first using dye inks in all the colors of the rainbow. Then I blended Distress Inks in the same colors over the dots. Next, I used My Favorite Things’ Heart Tree DieCut to make a cavity in the cover of the colored card panel. I also used the Wonky Stitched Rectangle Die Cut to give this panel a fun border.

Now the only thing missing from this rainbow was the pot of gold! So, I adhered some glitter gold cardtsock to the back of the tree die cut and voila! It just made the card so much more vibrant in a flash!

I then added a sentiment from My Favorite Things’ “Cup of Love Clear” Stamps that seems to play well with the blended background. I also added two hearts that had cut out from the tree to the side of the sentiment to make this the perfect anytime card.

Hope you enjoyed learning more about my process and I look forward to seeing you next time.

Supplies

Curious about the products I use? I have listed them below.

(These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.)


Summer Blooms: Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are blooming everywhere right now and I couldn’t help but paint some! I took to my Distress Inks again but used them just as I would water colors.

The luminosity of these inks blows my mind away…hydrangeas are not easy to paint because of their complex structure. But I found it really relaxing to go over each petal and nurture it to life. Slowly but surely all of it came together in this vibrant gratitude card. 

Ok, so let’s take a closer look at the process. I started off by stamping the Hydrangeas on Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper and heat-set the ink. Then I got four of my distress inks out: Mowed Lawn, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves and Tumbled Glass.

I gave the entire stamp a wash with Tumbled Glass and Seedless Preserves using a LOT of water and very little ink. Once I had heat-set that first layer, I then started adding the colors, one at a time. 

The key thing to remember was adding darker colors to the “under petals” — the ones that were in the shadows of the top petals. I added diluted bits of color first, going in with the more intense, non-diluted, pure ink in the third and final layer. 

What that does is it “lifts” the original wash layer up, giving the illusion of light. At this stage I introduced the green using the same light wash technique and going over with more pigmented, less diluted detail brushwork in the second layer. 

I then fussy-cut the colored hydrangea image and started assembling the card. I didn’t want a plain white background but I also didn’t want the background to take away from the star of the show: the flowers! So, I dry-embossed with Altenew’s Mixed Sprinkles Stencil on a 4″ X 5.25″ cardstock sheet. It made for the perfect subtle background and almost reminds me of a dandelion blowing in the summer breeze.

I digress.

Adding some grass (painted with distress inks on watercolor paper and die cut), Ranger Ink liquid pearls for the centers, a big, bold paintbrush “thanks” die from Simon Says Stamp and an additional sentiment from Altenew’s Best Sentiments stamp set completed the card. 

While it took me a while to get the light and shadow just right in this card, I have to say it was totally worth the time. I enjoyed coloring with distress inks and love the luminosity of the colors and the depth/dimension this stamp allowed me to create. 

Looking forward to painting another one of these in shades of pink next. What colors would you choose for your hydrangeas? Do share in the comments. 


Be The Change You Want To See

I’ve been recording all of my content for various online courses to demystify and make monoprinting more accessible to a wider audience. As part of those recordings, I did this magazine image transfer. Wish I had taken more photos of what this looked like right after I pulled the print but, alas, I didn’t. As with most prints, I “enhanced” it with Derwent Inktense pencils, Stabilo Woody pencils and some acrylic paint. 

Here’s a quick hyperlapse video showing the transformation.

I have this image posted on our refrigerator as a reminder that more work needs to be done, conversations need to be had (both with ourselves and with others), questions need to be answered, and long-held beliefs need to be challenged.

We all need to stand up, one household at a time, to unite in this fight against injustice and systemic biases. The motto in our house now is: racism ends with me. And because we have been having honest conversations with our six-year-old daughter, and because she sees this image on our fridge every day, I have hope for our future.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog post and newsletter with resources (books, online reads and videos) to share with my daughter. We are all learning together and trying to do better and be better. 

Supplies

Curious about the products I use for mixed media gel plate transformations? I have listed them below.

(These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.)

I have this image posted on our refrigerator as a reminder that more work needs to be done, conversations need to be had, questions need to be answered, and long-held beliefs need to be challenged.

Black Lives Matter

I am not a political person and I don’t much care for religious beliefs either: my philosophy has always been live and let live. It’s hard for me, though, to just stand by and not do anything about what we are going through in this pivotal moment in history.

As hard as it is for me to express in words how I feel about the state of this country right now, I am expressing my feelings through journaling. We need to remember what it’s like to be human, to be kind, to be humble, to be loving, to be accepting of EVERYONE!

Creative expression of my thoughts

I came to this country 20 years ago thinking this was the promised land where caste and creed didn’t matter, women were treated fairly, and there was freedom of choice.

I was ignorant…or maybe too naive. But I accepted everything that I felt was wrong as part of the cultural fabric of this nation…not my problem to solve, right? Wrong.

As protests rage around the country, fighting for equality and justice for ALL, I’m taking a stand by monetarily supporting Black Lives Matter and ACLU of Northern California. And I am supporting the works of: Art by JekeinM Koby ArtCoco MichelePretty Strange DesignOh Happy DaniShema LoveMonica AhanonuNikkolas Design and Lauren Pierce to stay connected, keep learning and never forget that complacency is our enemy and kindness changes everything.

Each one of us is responsible for forging the way for a more humane and just society. We need to speak up individually and collectively; we need to be compassionate, empathetic and committed; we need to do our part in ending racism across the board.  

It will take all of us working together to make these changes. The conversations won’t be easy or comfortable, but they are critical. I urge you all to reflect honestly, discuss openly and become part of the solution actively.

Don’t be a bystander. Change the cultural fabric of the place you’re living in. Lead by example. We can do better. We can be better.

If you would like to do guided intuitive art journaling, please fill out your email address so you can be notified of upcoming classes.

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Supplies

Curious about the products I used? I have listed them below.
(These are compensated affiliate links at no cost to you. Thank you for your support! Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. As always, I was not paid to do this post and I only use products from companies I love.)

Fluid Acrylic Pour: Mermaids

I had posted some images of fluid acrylic pours on dolphins and sea horses on social media, when I got a message asking if I could paint two mermaids. The client wanted pinks, purples, and blues with a healthy dose of glitter. And this would be a birthday gift. No pressure!

I didn’t hesitate. The chance to paint mermaids for a little girl’s room! How was I to pass up on a challenge like that?

But to be honest, it was nerve-racking. I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the perfect shaped MDF board silhouette and finally found one on Etsy (yay for small businesses!). Once it arrived, I just had to wait for a half day of alone time when I could start and finish the pour. Why? It only takes 30 seconds to pour paint on something! Right? Wrong!

Before the pouring could begin, I had to prep all the paint mixes with the right ratios of paint to pouring medium. Getting that melting ice cream consistency is key to those beautiful cells. Then there’s the little matter of creating a space in one’s family room where the paintings can stay untouched for a couple of days and cure. Lastly, of course, comes the very-involved process of cleaning up all the drippings! For those of you who have little ones, you’ll understand how that goes.

In this video, you’ll see more than just the act of pouring. There’s a lot more that goes into taking a raw idea and making into a finished product—one that I can be proud of.

It took approximately eight weeks from the time I first discussed the idea with the client to when it was shipped to her. Yes, you read that correctly: eight weeks. Varnishing is critical to the longevity of the product and I also always take time to sand and smooth all edges. So, the next time you see a quick reel on fluid acrylic pouring, please know that the artist has likely spent many hours creating the final product.

I used soft body acrylic paints from Liquitex for this project and varnished the final product with three coats of Kamar Varnish followed by a coat of Liquitex Glossy Varnishing Medium.

Let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions or have tips and tricks to share!