Saturday, December 26, 2020

'Noel' for AB Studios

 Merry Christmas to all my sweet crafty friends!
I hope everyone has had some great family time and shared the warmth of this
holiday season with those closest to you.

The 'Holly Jolly Christmas' paper set by AB Studios is full of wonderful Christmas colours 
and patterns. I especially loved the page 'December'; it has a warm vintage feel to it,
and it really inspired me to create these mixed media journal pages.

The magic of Christmas is best seen through the eyes of a child, and I always
find myself feeling nostalgic around this time of year. My girlhood memories of longing
for the excitement of Christmas day, ripping through the presents, the special family 
dinner, all the wonderful times I have spent with my parents and sisters, come
flooding back to me. All the memories I make with my child, I hope he holds dear too.
We get our portrait taken together every Christmas - he's growing up so fast -
but still counts down the days through December. 
We sang some beautiful hymns, listened to the story of Jesus, full of rebirth and 
hope for peace on earth, and prayed for a better year coming.

I used so many pretty AB Studios products here, stamps, stencils and the wonderful 
Christmas papers. I fussy cut some wreaths, and added some watercolors.

You can find AB Studios shop here:

Here are a few close ups:

I've been creating handmade journals and really enjoying recycling all kinds of papers
including plain brown paper bags - I like to messily coat them with gesso and add stamps and 
some die cut shapes - here I cut some out of the paper 'A Holly Jolly'.

THE people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 

                                                 Isaiah 9: 2, 6–7 

All best wishes for a healthy happy New Year to all my friends,

Love, Lisa xoxoxox

Saturday, December 12, 2020

'thankful' a new layout for AB Studios

Hello crafty friends! I hope everyone is doing well!

I am back to share a new layout I created the week of Thanksgiving with the wonderful 
AB Studios paper collection called 'Rustical Journey'.


 To me there aren't any scrapbooking papers around that can touch the vintage beauty of AB Studios. This collection 'Rustical Journey' has beautiful images of doilies and flowers, very pretty and so unique. I started with the sheet called 'Start your Journey', and then layered on some tags, watercolors, a few charms and ribbons, and some Prima flowers.
I also used an AB Studios stencil and  two AB Studios stamps.

The link to the AB Studios shop is here:

Here are a few details:

I found this vintage photograph in my stash and I sat staring at this old house thinking about how important our homes are to each of us; it's where we live, grow, and make memories that last a lifetime. We just moved from our town we lived in for 14 years and the change was hard for me. But on the bright side we now live in Florida, very close to the ocean which I am still pinching myself over! The landscape is so beautiful - the tallest trees I've ever seen, swaying with Spanish moss, and the huge wondrous sky lights up in pinks and oranges most nights. I can't wait to explore my new surroundings...this is a dream come true! I found the words 'I am thankful' on one of the papers from this collection and it is exactly what I'm feeling these days. Hoping that everyone has family and friends to share the holidays with and can feel grateful for all of our blessings, even through these difficult times.

Thank you for looking, see you soon,

Lisa xoxoxox

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

'Wonderful' tags for AB Studios

Greetings my crafty friends! I have been playing with my AB Studios papers....
this time working with the collection 'Somewhere', so delicate and pretty,
that it inspired me to create a couple of tags with pink roses and a vintage touch.


I started out with a piece of cardboard and covered it with pieces of AB Studios papers
then used a stencil with white heavy gesso. After all that dried I added some pink Lindy's 
Stamp Gang sprays. I added one of AB Studios transfers that you apply by rubbing on the 
backside of the transfer, it looks just like a stamp. I can imagine all kinds of fun ways 
to use these transfers.

One of my favourite ways to use chipboard is to emboss them with metallic powders - 
I love it! First I cover the chipboards with a layer of thick white gesso and I heat them
up with the heat gun so that the gesso bubbles creating a nice rough texture. 
Then I messily embossed them in gold, love how they turned out!
AB Studios has so many beautiful products for mixed media... 
You can find Aga's shop here - AB Studios.

I added a few seashells from my trip to St. Augustine....I collected quite a few and 
found a pretty glass jar to keep them in on my table to remind me of the ocean.
Heaven on earth is siting on the soft sand watching the sunset and the sky light up
with the most beautiful pinks and purples......listening to the waves softly crash the shore.

Thanks for looking!
See you soon,
Lisa xoxoxox

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A wonderful day


Warm greetings my lovely friends!

As soon as I saw the large vibrant bursting with color roses in the collection called 'Never Never Land' I knew I would create a page flowing with reds and pinks.  I added a vintage photograph in a little adorable frame that I cut from the paper called 'Craftland'.

'a wonderful day'

I created a watercolor background, and used heavy white gesso with a AB Studios flower stencil to add texture, then created a bouquet of roses in a circle. 

There have been several brand new collections released - so pretty! There's even a Christmas collection too. You can check out the AB Studios shop

I've had so much fun going back to creating my pages - I absolutely adore this collection.

Thanks for looking, see you soon,

Lisa xoxoxx

Saturday, August 15, 2020

'love for old things' my first layout for my brand new design team....AB Studios!

Hello dear readers!

I am so delighted to be a designer for the new A B Studios design team! I have long admired Aga's beautiful watercolor flowers....also so many other beautiful products for mixed media art. Wonderful chipboards, stencils and stamps. What a joy to receive a big box of supplies :)  

So I am back to share a layout I created recently, with the absolutely beautiful papers from AB Studios. This collection is called 'Love for Old Things'....sounds perfect for me because I feel so inspired by anything vintage and I was really missing creating mixed media art!

'Love for Old Things'  

I began with the paper Sheet No. 5 'Pure Vintage' and added lot of gesso with a doily stencil,
some Lindy's Spray's and layered some pretty ornate frames that I painted white and then rubbed with some gold wax. I added some bits of vintage jewelry, and lastly some transparent foil butterflies that I cut out and have fluttering up the page.

You can find AB Studios products here at the shop :

There has just been a new release of some new paper collections, so be sure to go have a peek:)

Some close ups:

So grateful to Aga for inviting me to be on her design team! What a sweet and talented lady she is....
Well, I have some new collections to play with so I will share some more projects soon...
Thanks for looking! 

Hugs, Lisa xoxoxox

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Calling all junk journal lovers!

Hello there my creative friends!
I'm not sure if there is anyone out there who still reads my blog, and it feels like forever....
but I have something to share. I have admired junk journals for quite a while now,
and always wanted to make one of my own, but having never made one,
I felt quite stuck and very overwhelmed at the mere thought of it.
I experimented with coffee dying some papers, sketching, sewing,
stenciling and painting them and I finally finished my first junk journal in violet and pinks.

 As I drifted away from scrap booking last year, (the love of mixed media is still very much
present in me, I just needed some new avenues to go down), the idea of creating my own
handmade journals seemed to take over my creative longings, but where to start?
There are so many layers to these books!
I also had no idea how to bind the pages together, or how to attach them to a vintage book cover.
I sat and watched a lot of tutorials, broke down into steps how
to prepare the pages, created a loose plan of how I wanted the book to look,
and then did a lot of experimenting to see what works best for me.
There was a lot of struggle with the binding, but so much joy to see the end result!
Vintage ephemera has always been an obsession of mine, and incorporating
a vintage work look to the pages was important, as was trying to include
my love of textures. So I bought myself a new sewing machine (for some
reason I only ever had old cast aways), gathered lots of vintage papers and laces,
and sewed a few pockets and added some velvety leaves to my papers to
add some interest not only visually to the book, but also some soft textures,
so that it's pleasing to actually hold the book and feel the richness of the pages.
Fabrics give a book a whole new dimension.
At the bottom of the post I'm going to write a step by step plan
as to how I created this book....for now just enjoy the photos!

 Vintage charms, buttons and beads add a bit of whimsy and sparkle to a book.
Very easy to do, just leave the strings that you are using to bind the pages together in long
strands after you finish binding, then just tie on your charms. Here I used some beads I
found at an estate sale, and some Tim Holtz metal keys.

There are so many ways to add fabric and lace to your I sewed a piece of lace to
make a veil over my collage, but you can sew pockets onto pages, ripped up lace along
the bottom or sides of your papers or add some fabric as one of your signatures.

Another past time lately was to try to teach myself how to draw faces.....very challenging!
Here I was experimenting with charcoal, but got so carried away with adding
ink to the other side of this page, that I forgot to think about my sketch!
Imperfections add character, but while you get swept away in your flow
on your pages, don't forget to check if you have primed your page with
gesso or just check to see to see what you have on the back of your page :)

 This was one of my favourite pages, as collaging is so fun! The results are always a surprise...
Don't forget to leave plenty of blank spaces in your journal, not only for eyes to rest,
(this page is quite busy!) but also to leave room for journaling. You can add your
thoughts about this image, memories it might evoke, some poetry,
or a little story that you want to write down so it won't be forgotten.

Here I was experimenting sewing some leaves on a piece of vintage card stock, 
and I thought it would make a nice final touch to my book.

So breaking down into steps to make a journal would go something like this:

1. Gathering your materials. A tip from an online class I took was to buy a basket just for
this project and start gathering your materials: papers of all kinds, vintage ephemera,
watercolor paper, drawing paper, and keep your eyes open for any unusual
papers that cross your path. I used lots of brown and white paper bags from
the wine store, junk mail (I especially love envelopes with clear windows),
any tissue paper you have, the papers from gifts or packaging, pieces of cardboard
boxes of varying thicknesses, and of course, vintage
books: you will use the covers, and also the inside pages.
Also be on the look out for fabric and lace: you can buy little bundles on Etsy,
but I find some really cool fabrics by buying blouses at my favourite
thrift store; they're cheap, plentiful, and the Indian ones with embroidered
flowers are so pretty! Ripped up jeans are cool too.

2. Create your inner pages. Here I would suggest creating pages in batches. Trying to
create each individual page would be too time consuming, and also when you're
creating in batches, you'll be a lot more free in how you are experimenting with
your mediums. This way, you will have quite a bit of pages to
chose from to make a book. Another advantage is making more than one book at
a time. These journals are already tricky to make, and if you know you could
have two or three made at the end of your process, all the better! I got a cheap
plastic table cloth, and gathered all my mediums in one spot. Have fun
creating! The first thing I did, was I coffee stained all my papers in various
degrees, some totally stained, others just splashed with the coffee. There are
lots of videos on Youtube on how to do this. Then I would start by collaging,
then use gesso with either a palette knife, or with stencils and splash
around some paints or inks. You can at this point be starting to think of themes
and be adding in some photographs printed on paper, some dried pressed
flowers for a nature theme, etc.

3. Embellishing your pages: From this point, I moved onto my sewing machine.
I used ripped up laces, and different pieces of vintage linen napkins, tablecloths,
doilies, lace trims, old shirts, anything that catches your fancy.
I sewed these cloth pieces right onto my papers,
creating pockets, borders, or sometimes using fabric to create an individual
signature. I was looking on Pinterest and was hugely inspired by cloth artists
that embroider flowers and leaves using their sewing machine. (A goal for the future...)
At this point you can also make a cover for your journal using fabrics which
I have done for my next journal and I really like how that turned out.
I ripped up some cotton blouses, strips of denim and sewed them together
horizontally, then used that entire piece for a journal cover. If you don't have a sewing
machine, no worries! Just use tacky glue to glue down some
trims or use squares of cloth to make some pockets.

4. Pulling it all together: After I had chosen the pages I wanted to use, and the order
that they will go in, I realized that although I loved the uniqueness of the pages, they
looked a bit random and not cohesive. Here I took some time to go through and do
some mark making, stamping, adding some colors to go with my theme, and adding
a few things to pages through out the book to sort of make the whole book feel
tied together. Another thing to keep in mind is to leave some blank pages. As
you're using your journal in the future you might want to add things along the
way, and if it's for someone else ( I made one for each of my sisters), they're
going to want to personalize their journals. Here you can add different inserts,
like pages from a vintage music book, or some blank pieces of watercolor paper.

5. Binding: This was the most challenging step for me and it took a lot of pondering
on what was going to work best, and a lot of messing about trying to decide.
There are a lot of great tutorials on Youtube on different binding methods. But you will
need some kind of thick thread or cord, a large sharp needle and an awl. You separate your
pages into signatures, making sure it's all going to fit inside your cover, mark with a pencil
where the holes will go, and then thread them together. I left the strings from the binding
long after tying the ends together, this way you can add beads and charms.
There are also lots of ways to attach your signatures to a cover. In this book, I sewed
the signatures together to a piece of thin cardboard, glued that into the spine of an old
book cover, and then glued pieces of paper on each inside cover to hide the cardboard.

6. Creating the cover: Last step was embellishing my cover with gesso, watercolors
and a Tim Holtz frame, anything goes here, it's all up to your own personal style. Now
it's time to sit back and admire your handiwork! I was so pleased with the finished book,
that I almost forgot how frustrating it all was to make, but for a first timer,
I did alright! And I plan to keep practicing until I can whip these out, several
at time, and with different looks. Etsy has a lot of digital paper packs with pretty
themes that I want to try.....I am thinking of an Alice in Wonderland for the next one.

I hope these steps help, and that you try making one for yourself! They
would make wonderful keepsakes for friends and family.

Let me know if you do try your own junk journal or any thoughts, questions
or comments on this book I made.

Thanks for looking,
Hugs, Lisa xoxoxox

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