Thursday, December 31, 2015

Artsydori Land

My December was full of Artsydori bliss instead of sugar plums. Seriously. I took a class, and it got addicting. I think I've made seven of these beautiful books. Every second spent on this Artsy Dori class by Cindy Gilstrap was bliss! Check it out here

Artsydori Numero 01

It's a traveler's notebook, a cute cover to house notebooks. This size fits the Moleskine Cahier Kraft Large Ruled Journals, 5" x 8 1/4" . I actually prefer the Standard-sized traveler's journal style notebooks for these notebook covers. You can fit about 5 or 6 inserts in, which I love! I make many of my own refills, as it can get expensive to order them all! So many uses for these! That's a whole post in itself! :) 

Love the canvas scripty covered buttons. I found them in my scrapbook stash, most of which has been purged since I stopped scrapbooking, but some still float around, and the buttons were some of it. :) 
I used mini pom pom trim and pink velvet ribbon I had in my stash as well. 

The elastics is variegated, which I love!

Stamped sentiment on a bit of canvas.

The inside cover has a pretty pocket, painted with a flower, and messily sewn. At first go, I accidentally stitched the top part closed too. Oh well, the holes on top look kinda cute.

I just painted the canvas for the pen loop. See the messy stitching? You don't need to be an expert seamstress for this, trust me! 

Artsydori Numero 02

Artsydori Numero 03

This one I call Lisa, as my niece Lisa got this for Christmas from Junia and myself. :) For this one I used white elastics, and you can see just a peek, but it's coordinated fabric from the inside. I have more of that fabric, so I definitely plan on making more with that for the inside.

Artsydori Numero 04

I chose to go without the flowers on this one. Used a fun stencil by Tim Holtz for the dots.

A bold contrasting for the inside.

Artsydori Numero 05

More traditional colors with an eclectic feel for the design: gold elastics, contrasting green stitching for the patch in front, measuring tape ribbon for trim, and wooden buttons.

Yellow ombre pattern for the inside.

Artsydori Numero 06

I had the hardest time getting the colors right with this one, but in the end, I think it's my favorite! 

Flourescent yellow buttons for the spine. :)


Artsydori Numero 07

This one I gifted to my niece who loves anything horses. :)

I have plans for more! 

So, if these books intrique you, do please check out this marvelous course at

And that's that. My last post of the year. It's almost 2016!

Happy happy new year to each one of you!


Love, Anna

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Challenge for 2016 by Clare Plantation

I'm attempting a new challenge by the lovely Miranda at her blog: Clare Plantation.

I need to come up with 18 supplies I will use for three months.

Here is my list, but I might change it up a bit yet. I have until the first of January, right? :)

1. Gesso
2. Water
3. Paintbrush
4. Sponges
5. Scissors
6. Palette knife
7. Acrylic paint - Liquitex Basics: Deep Violet
8. Acrylic paint - Liquitex Basics: Mars Black
9. Acrylic paint - Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint - Wedding Paint
10. Acrylic paint - Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint - Party Streamer 
11. Stencil 1: Stencil Girl December 2015 Stencil Club, Mary Beth Shaw Private Collection 15:5 geometric swirls (my own name for them)
12. Stencil 2 : Stencil Girl December 2015 Stencil Club, Mary Beth Shaw Private Collection 15:5 scribbles 
13.  4" Round Gelli Plate
14. Brayer
15. Collage Pauge
16. Prima 3D Gel Medium
17. Carved stamp from Miranda, called Wood's Age.
18. White Uniball Signo pen
19. 7Gypsies rotating stamp....ooops! That's 19! I have to take one away!! Which one? :0

I hope to make the color Aubergine with the Deep Violet, It's a violet-black color. Similar colors are Plum, Eggplant, Wine, get the picture. I dedicated a WHOLE Pinterest board to this color, I love it so much. Check it out here.  

Another color I can make with my listed paint colors is smoky plum, specifically, #a48ea5 teeheee It was this pic that has me interested in this color, and this one.

My art journal is an old book that I've played in lots already, and sometimes I rip out pages. So if I need extra collaging paper, I'll use pages from there. That doesn't count as one of the 18, right? :)

I have to decide yet what my prompts will be.

Join me? I'm excited! I have a few friends joining me. It'll be so fun to be limited to only specific supplies. 

Have a great day! 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Week 15 DLP: I'm Not Crying A River

Do check out this fantastic art journal project if you haven't already! The above letters in green is a link that takes you to it. ;) So rewarding and it's a great education, and it is FREE! Whoot!!

The project I'm sharing here is from Week 15! (Yes, very far behind, but I'm okay with that!) 

Acrylics is the art challenge and the journaling prompt is Cry Me a River. 
Here are the Art5 ladies takes on the challenge:

So, here is my project. Scroll down for close-ups and bit of my process.:) My spin on the journaling prompt is to do the opposite of the quote. NOT crying a river here, rather, I choose to do a very happy looking piece. I had no feel for the crying a river part. LOL.

 I just finished a class called Neon Forest, by Teresa McFayden. Check it out HERE! She is the featured artist for this week's DLP. I have salivated over her Neon Forests for a year at least, and so when I visited her blog to see her take on this week's DLP challenge, I saw the Neon Forest art. I said, whoa, gotta check that out! I had never searched out the artist. That said, I signed up for her class, and made a few pieces following her suggestions. Love them. I decided to deviate from the regular grey background with pink. It DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME NEON POWER as the grey, and frankly, (See the bottom of this post for my class pieces, with the grey background.) I look like I'm on crack or something. LOL I promise, I'm not! Teehee

I started with the background, blending pink and white Dylusions paints in a circular motion in the middle with a round Ranger paint applicator. Painted funky flowers, fun little leaves, stems with heavy duty acrylic paint and outlined everything with a grey Stabilo All pencil.

Stencilled a vine with the Tracks stencil by Tim Holtz and added more detail marks to the halo in the middle with a really old stencil called Circles n' Circles TCW79 by The Crafter's Workshop. I also added heavy duty acrylic paint to some of the "leaves" I made with the stencil, to give it a bit more texture. 

Added a yellowish paint in some areas at the bottom of the page. Looking at it now, I feel like I should have added more to the bottom to ground it better, but too late now, I'm posting! :)

Loving the messy palette of paints!

Ooh, and had to sneak in a peek of my newest Traveler's Journal. It's from The Foxy Fix, and it's name is Pixie Dust. ♥♥♥ (But that's a different post!)

My very first Neon Forest. I have lots to learn, but I like it, as it portrays my moving into unknown territory, out of my comfort zone. Painting precisely with paint brushes is something I definitely need to practice more! And my background area needs more blending...and..and...but I'm happy overall!

Neon Forest #2: I tried a really fast version for the NaNoJouMo 15 minute version, which I'm participating in the month of November. I made this over two-15 minute time slots. I hope to blog about that project sometime soon!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

15 NaNoJourMo

The 15 Minute Edition of NaNoJouMo by Dawn Sokol

This is a new challenge, based on the popular NaNoWriMo
Instead of writing a novel in a month, you spend 15 minutes a day in your art journal. 

My plan is 5 minutes of free-writing, and 10 minutes art journaling. 

For day one and two, I did add more details later, but this timed exercise is my starting point. Learning how to just go for it, and not agonize, agonize, stare, stare at the blank page! 
I do it so much. 
My creative muscles will get a workout, big time! 
My goal was to call each page FINISHED when the timer beeps, but I just couldn't help myself. 
I want pages to be more complete. 
I need to be spanked?

A file folder journal in progress: when the month is complete, I'll bind
all the pages together into a book.


Pages transformed with color and paint and paper and stamps
and ink and on and on...

Ombre gelli prints for the background. 

stencil work

Mail art : the painty circles in pink, green and purple are cut
from an envelope.

Snail mail happiness was from my fellow DLP moderator, Chris. ♥

Each day I am doing a five minute free-write.

washi tape

graph paper for the background with my journaling

Day 1 stamped with rubber stamps and a huge big set of
foam numbers and letters by Magnetic Poetry

The bible truth, "You are transformed through Christ" is the reminder
for me throughout this month, so I decided to put that on the very first page of the file folder book.

Snippets of words that echoed my main sentiment are put above my title.

Ordinary manila and kraft colored file folders make up the pages in this journal and they
they will be hand-bound together at the end of the month.


I bought a huge bundle of cheap kraft paper at an art store, and I use it catch my drips and stains (underpaper), but I also gelli-print on it quite deliberately. It makes up the background of the left side.

Made the snail mail envelope I had cut out a circle for yesterday's project and glued to page, and tucked in today's 5 minute free-write and a tag from the lovely Sandi Keene.

Label, stamped with the same stamps I used for day 1.

Punched out a circle from an old Uno turn-around card, 
old children's book, 
gelli prints, 
music paper, 
an old zine I ordered off Etsy from Daisy Yellow that didn't print out right,
an index card where I practiced calligraphy with brush pens...

Pink polka dot washi tape. I don't think washi will ever go out of style. It's so handy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Windows of My Mind

At first, the current challenge of this journaling prompt didn't speak to me, but after seeing so many wonderful interpretations, I got inspired.

This is week 43 of The Documented Life Project 2015 - The Journal. If you are unfamiliar with this great art journaling community, do check it out HERE! :)

I got these awesome new stencils (with a grid theme) in my mail box from Stencil Girl's Stencil Club, and had to try them out! :) 

Windows within windows and lettering you can't read. That's my brain most of the time: to borrow that saying about a woman's brain is like having too many tabs open on the computer - too many windows open, and with my speech impediments (mostly just obvious to me) , I find it hard to process properly what I'm trying to say. Yup, going with that. LOL. 

I started with four colors of squares, then I had this brilliant idea of gessoing over everything to add dimension. I did that, regretted it, then tried to duplicate the same thing over again. Yes, a make-work project. LOL So, above photo is what the first layout looked like. Wasn't crazy fond of how I worked the black Stabilo All pencil.


For the squares, I blended in over the first set of squares stenciled with acrylic paint with similar Gelato colors, ensuring the majority of the color landed in the lower left corner of each square. When dry, I added stenciling with acrylic paint, and finished with a few white dots on each big square.

Black Stabilo All around each square, scribbly frames with gel pens in matching colors for the squares. For the text on the right, I used Stencil Girl's previous month's club stencils with black paint. Ancient lettering, is what that stencil is called. 

This set of stencils has the cutest little designs to fit the grids, and I thought, wow, windows within windows! This will work perfectly with the current prompt. I ditched the glassine, and just went with the journaling prompt this time. Totally allowed, right? :) 

And that's that. :)

Also on my table, many, many gelli prints in the works. If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice I'm on a huge aubergine (a.k.a. eggplant) kick. Everything's purple, including my new board of 90+ pins called Aubergine. Check that out HERE if you want. Teehee. #sorrynotsorry

Yummy ombres!!

For the "Oh, what fun"words I used as a mask, I cut out the words from last year's Starbucks packaging I had saved all this time. I like. More ombre. I am eagerly awaiting a new Traveler's Journal from The Foxy Fix, called Pixie Dust, and it's got these yummy colors. I am seriously inspired by that color scheme and the ombre look! I hope to make notebooks for it with these gelli prints.

This stencil by Traci Bautista called Deconstructed Florals from Stencil Girl make me so happy! (And kraft paper!) 

Well, I'll call that a wrap. Have a great day, art peeps!!! Thanks for visiting, I really appreciate it! 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

DLP Week 35: Self-Portrait

I record all the DLP challenges in a Traveler's Notebook insert. As soon as the new challenge is on the Art 5 blog, I grab my Confettidori that houses this notebook, and I quickly jot down the challenge and prompt. Easy peasy.

Squirrel!!! ::  I purchased the sweet insert shown above ^^^^^ from Natalie at her Etsy shop, ArtichokesElephants! It's a collection of one of three notebooks called Summer Sips. Do check out the goodies in her shop. All items are lovingly made by a beautiful and sweet woman! Her store hasn't been open for a very long time yet, so she deserves a SHOUT OUT!! :) 

Anyway, back to this project at hand. Week 35, August 29th art Challenge was to do a self-portrait. EGADDD!! I like to doodle, but to do a self-portrait?!?! Not on my list of comforts, that's for sure. When I first read all the Art5 ladies' ideas and the guest artist's ideas, I thought, I can do this! I can paint like Pam! (Check out her tutorial for this prompt, it's wonderful! I felt emboldened to try it myself...then a few days passed, then a week...and I wasn't any closer to trying it. Then the next week's DLP prompt came, and it was TRANSFERRING photos! Ooh, I have wanted to try that for a long time, so I quickly started! See below.
The page I put this in was full of painty goodness from playing with my Dylusions paints, just like Ms. Reaveley suggests. It was fun. And busy.

I printed off a photo of me in black and white, then I used a Stabilo All black watercolor pencil to color in the black areas of the photocopy. I couldn't find my Acrylic glazing medium at the time, so I used Decou-Page by DecoArt, and covered my Dylusions page with it, over all the painty stuff, then placed the photocopy face down in the wet medium. I added water and more Decou-Page, let it sit, then slowly pulled it off the page. It had dried a little by this time, so some of the paper stayed behind. That sounds like a failure, but I liked the extra texture and messiness it gave me. BUUUUUUT.....the eyes did not transfer. NOOOOOOO!!! The hardest part!!! The most important part for a portrait to have, right? My brain thought that anyway. LOL! Seriously, I totally winged this thing. I ignored all I had learned about transferring images, and just did my own thing. I'm a rebel, I know. 

Firstly, let me say, I should have stopped at this point. Just like a previous DLP challenge had us do...

Soooo, I needed eyes and more of the glasses. So, I printed off another copy of the photo, and colored in with the Stabilo All to try it again. By this time, I found my acrylic glaze, so I did the same method as the first time, and I achieved a bit more success. Still, the eyes weren't very bold in my piece, but it'll have to be okay. Next came painting. I don't want to describe to you how I painted it, as I have no method, and it didn't work out. I look like I just came off the circus circuit. I guess my life is similar to a circus, so I'll go with it.  I can't work on it anymore, I am too mad at my results, so I'll just leave as is. Maybe in a few years, after I have learned how to actually paint faces, I can come back to it, right? Right? :)

And a few days later...

I'm calling it done. It kind of looks half done, but I did want some of the painty background showing in the end. LOL It really doesn't look like me, but it's an attempt. My daughter says I should have added my hair, but I like this funky look. The eyelashes and eye lines look too black and the nose wonky, but it'll have to do. :)

Back to more art journaling with a friend of mine! You should see my art "studio"! That gives you me an idea. I'll take a photo of the artsy chaos that is supposed to be our dining room/kitchen...

here it is...

Have a great day! 


Monday, July 20, 2015

DLP Week 23 Illustrative Art Journaling

Hello fellow art journalers! This post features my latest project for The Documented Life Project 2015 - The Journal. It's hosted by the lovely ladies HERE

This is my 14th challenge completed, out of 29 prompts already LIVE. I am not stressing that I haven't completed all the challenges. I want to keep this fun and stress-free, and for me, that means not worrying about staying caught up. :)

I have loved nature and travel illustrative journaling for a very long time! It all started when I read Charlotte Mason's books of a home educating philosophy, particularly of studying nature through nature study and art journaling. (See links towards the end of this post where I share my favorite books about nature journaling. )I've been smitten ever since! So when I read the June 6th DLP Art Journaling prompt, Illustrative Journaling, I was excited! I thought about it week after week, but never actually took the time and courage to work on it. Illustrative journaling is not something that comes easily to me. I struggle with "seeing" in order to draw something. Definitely a wanna-be! One of these years when I have the creative energy, I will really dig in and learn and practice this type of art more.

But, I did do a little bit this past weekend. It's nothing spectacular, but I made an effort, and that counts!! 

The first step for me was to pick two types of leaves near my art table, I mean picnic table, since I'm camping and everything...I traced the shape, then roughly drew in some details, not worrying too much about trying to make it look realistic. Next, I used Inktense pencils and a waterbrush filled with water and Dylusions inks to color my rough sketches. While I was painting, the boys came back from fishing, and lo, my oldest son's first cast into the water brought up a fish! I documented it there in the bottom right corner while he was telling us his tale. That poor fish doesn't really look at all like the Northern Pike, but I think it does resemble a fish, right? Please say yes? LOL

Not long after, my youngest boy came to me with a beautiful feather, so I drew that too. :) I also added in little details about the food we ate, and also some conversation around me. We camped with friends. It was a very simple, slow, relaxing weekend! Our favourite way to vacation.

I finished my whole project up by tearing my painting out of the mixed media sketch book and glueing it into my Dylusions journal. I had prepped the two pages weeks ago, when I was playing with my new Dylusions paints and various stencils.


During our camping weekend, I wandered the beautiful campground and river banks while my hubby and boys swam or fished in the river. My senses soar in nature like this! Lovely trails to the river, bordered by the sweet buffalo bean wild flowers and sweet clover.

Little discoveries here and there.

Levi, Liam and I watched a video earlier in the week about an adventurer building a wattle and daub house in the bush, using absolutely no ready-made tools, and one of the things he did was make a fire by rubbing a stick a certain way. Levi tried it, but did not meet with success. It's harder than it looks!

We camped really close to home, and we had promised to do our neighbor's chores while they were away, so I drove home every morning and evening to tend to their animals. On the way back one evening, I saw this beautiful rainbow. God's glory all around us!!

My fave books about illustrative and nature journaling:

Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a New Way of Seeing the World Around You by Claire Walker Leslie
Handbook Of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock

Another great resource I haven't pursued very much, but I know will be a gold mine:
 Danny Gregory.

I have one of his books that I've started to read. Need to finish it! Art Before Breakfast

I get lots of inspiration from the pins on my Nature Study board on Pinterest HERE.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Have a great creative week!