Art and Craft News / creative corner - art journaling

Make Your Own Washi Tape

Make Your Own Washi Tape

Its fun, easy and satisfying to make or decorate your own washi tape for scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking, mixed media artwork or any other project.

The main treasure you'll need is either paper and adhesive tape (or glue), self adhesive paper, white paper tape, adhesive labels or my new favourite tape, Dylusions Journal Tape.

Dyan Reaveley's own paper tape is beautifully fine and super sticky. It stays put really well without lifting plus once its on, you can hardly feel it.

You can use anything you like to decorate this journal tape including paints, inks, pencils and markers. Stamping flowers or markings over a watercolour background wash always looks beautiful :)

Today I used the Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks and my Zig waterbrush.

First I drew circles in various sizes, starting large then filling the spaces with smaller and smaller circles. They don't have to be even :) I started with just 3 strips (half a sheet) of tape in the smallest size, 20mm wide.

Scribble Sticks with Dylusions journal tape

I used 4 colours... night, blackberry, magenta and turquoise. I drew the circles in pink then added the others afterwards. The dark blue (night) I added last.

The next part is easy... using the waterbrush I washed over each circle and activated the pigments. The colours blended beautifully.

making washi tape using book tape

Stencils and stamps are great to use for making your own tape too. Use whatever colours you like and have fun!

Sing out if you have questions or need help :)

Happy Creative Day!

Read more →

Art Journaling Around Australia - Country

Life does get busy at times, but there is always time for art! I'm a tad behind with my swaps but I've finally finished and posted off this art journal page.

The theme is "country" and so I chose to do something that related to the gorgeous Aussie koala and our amazing day and night skies.

In Australia, we have koalas who love the city life as well as those who love the peaceful life of the countryside. I was inspired by a painting I saw in Pinterest ages ago called 'Night and Day' by an unknown artist.

My painting was created using Winsor & Newton watercolour paints and Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils with highlights using the Chameleon's black detailer pen. You can recreate this painting using any paints and pencils you have. At the end of this blog post I've added a few links of my favourites.

Art Journaling page spread featuring the theme Country

When I first went to write this blog post I was going to just say watercolours, but then I often get asked what brand and type, so there you go :)

The paper in this journal is regular art paper so not the best for water but as long as you don't go overboard with smooshing the paper while its wet, its ok.

I started with lemon yellow and dashes of red, then more yellow... then remembered to get that groovy texture that I love about watercolours, I must let it dry before adding more. So I moved over to the other page and used a sky blue and Prussian blue with splatters of Indigo. Then left it alone while I made a coffee.. that's the hardest part of watercolours - the waiting till it dries! 

With the hot air gun in a cupboard somewhere (that safe place!), I used the hairdryer with the diffuser attachment and blasted the pages until they were dry. Only took a couple of minutes :)

watercolour paints with a splash of water creates amazing background effects

After the backgrounds were dry, I added a bit more blue, indigo, yellow and red with splatters of water to break up the colours.

The next step was sketching out the tree. I used the black watercolour pencil for this and just kept adding branches and leaves until I felt it was finished... then added some more :)

Australian koala exploring the branches of a eucalypt gum tree at night

The night time koala is sketched in grey pencil along with indigo, black and white. His nose and eyes were drawn with the Chameleon Pen. The moon was simply an arc of water from my aquabrush (waterbrush), pressing down with paper towel and repeating this process 3 or 4 times until I had a moon showing in the sky. After it was dry, I added a feint line with an indigo pencil to give it a bit of definition.

at sunrise or sunset you will find a koala snoozing in the gum tree

Sunset, just before the koala wakes for his evening stroll around his territory. The sun I actually left as a white spot. I thought of adding more colour to it afterwards but left it alone. The grass is simply the black and indigo pencils flicked about at various lengths - totally random.

the finish art journal watercolour painting

The final part of this painting are my wording, the birds and adding a dash of water using my aquabrush to the tree trunk and grass, smoothing out the pencil marks.

Ta da! My painting is finished :) I actually really like this one. Its not often I like my own art so its a surprise when I do. Luckily art doesn't have to be realistic or that koala would starve - koalas are very fussy about what type of eucalypt leaves they eat.

If you have a go but get stuck or need help finding supplies, sing out anytime. I'm here to help :)

Thanks so much for visiting and reading my blog. I hope it makes you smile and inspires you to make time for art.

Happy Creative Day!


Products used or are equivalent to what I've used are...
- Watercolour Pencils
- Paints and Paint Brushes
- Pens and Markers
as well as these groovy treasures...

Dylusions Creative Art Journal image of the Distress empty sprayer image of the Chameleon Pen Black Detailer Marker  

Read more →

Art Journaling Around Australia - Faces

Balancing work and my creative time has been a juggling act these past 12 months but I finally found, or rather, made time the other day to catch up on a couple of journals that were waiting for me to finish them - then they could continue on their adventure around Australia.

Aussie Art Swap journal page for "Faces" theme, art by Jenny James of Art by Jenny
Above ... My journal page for Jan's "Faces" theme with one of my favourite quotes by Robin Williams.

I started out planning to paint and embellish with texture pastes stencils but ended up using beautiful scrapbook papers and doodling with my Derwent Graphik line makers. I love using the .3 for writing and the .5 for doodling swirls.

In hindsight, the quote "All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul, and they will never notice how broken you really are!" by Robin Williams, should have been done in a thicker pen or stamps, or even text transferred from my bubblejet. Or I could have written on a tracing paper or vellum overlay! Ah well, at least it still looks ok and you can still read it, sort of :)

If only we all saw what others saw when looking in a mirror, quote on art journal detail by Jenny James
Above ... such a peaceful woman with gorgeous blue hair and such a wise tattoo!

This quote "If only we all saw what others saw, when looking in a mirror" is something we all should take notice of as well. A friend posted a meme the other day about this too - it was funny, but we really should like ourselves (inside and out) alot more than we all do. Our family and friends love us just as we are, so we should too!

This journal swap is hosted by the wonderful and talented Louise 'River Art Girl' Kirby who manages the Aussie Art Swap Facebook group. She's gathered together a fantastic bunch of amazing artists who, like me, are passionate about art and how much it helps us in our every day lives. I'm a bit of a record at times, often saying how much art helps us heal and soothe our mind, heart and soul - but I really believe it to be true :) Its so cool to be in such an inspirational and encouraging group! We all learn from each other - its awesome!

As well as the journal circles, we have Artist Trading Card swaps, digital art postcard swap (must get mine finished asap too!) and what they call a DJP or deconstructed journal page... plus other types of swaps and prompts to keep us creative, thinking outside the hexagon (box, square... whatever!).

Louise has even organised us a blog to tell the story of our journal pages. Check it out - The Australian Art Journal Swap - its amazing! And here are my posts - Art by Jenny aka Jenny James at AAJS

Are you in Facebook too? If you'd love to be part of this fabulous arty group, visit the Facebook group and ask to join. We'd all love to see what you create :)

Happy Creative Day!

Read more →

Enchanted Art Journal Page

What do you get when you mix serviettes with glue, paint with iridescent medium and butterflies with fairies? An enchanting art journal page!

art journaling with serviettes, Dylusions Paint and Liquitex mediums

I'm happy to say that I'm pleased how this page turned out. What started out as a selection of serviettes, a small Dylusions Creative Journal, pots of Dylusions Paint and Liquitex Matte Gel Medium has turned into such a pretty page.

This particular page was made for a journal swap... my journal is currently travelling around Australia enjoying the creativity of other artists. I'll see it again in around 8-9 months so will show it off when it gets home.

I started with a blank page with the fairy serviette with a bunch of stamps next to my pot of gel medium... then forgot to take more photos! So you've just got the beginning and the end :)

I tore around the fairy so the serviette would blend into the background. Then did the same for the butterfly serviette. By the way, if you only have one serviette to use, rip carefully! It saves having to rejoin certain elements of the design :) At least I didn't rip the poor fairy's wings off!

Using the gel medium, I glued down the borders and fairy then added some purple, white and brown paint with a rolled (screwed, squished, scrunched) up piece of kitchen paper. I love how fast this Dylusions paint dries! Makes layering so much easier. It did help having the heater on as it was freezing that night.

I chose the stencils while it dried, then added more paint, again with the kitchen paper stub. I do use regular brushes, foam blending tools, sponges and stencil brushes for creating my art, but this time I wanted to keep a really rough texture to the background while keeping it flat.

I mixed paint as I painted, just adding a bit at a time. The white I just splotched on anywhere then added the purple and brown to get the paler colours. Then added more white as I made it too dark.

The green you can see is from the Chameleon Pens - why? I don't know, they were there next to me and the green just jumped into my hand while I was messing about with the stamps. The toadstools and flowers were stamped with black StazOn then blended into the background using my olive green, grey and clear Chameleon Pens.

Finally, I used a paint brush to add the Liquitex Iridescent Medium to the crystal ball and wings of the fairy and butterfly. I love this stuff... it reflects whatever colour you have underneath and makes it sparkle.

I was expecting the page to get thicker from the amount of paint and gel medium I was adding, but it didn't. And it didn't leak through to the other side (I do get a bit heavy handed with paint). Yay :)

I can't wait to see my journal when it gets home, but in the meantime, I need to create something magical and enchanting for each of the other journals when they visit.

I hope you enjoyed reading how my art journal page was created. Next time I'll remember to take photos :)

Happy Creative Day!

Read more →