Category Archives: Friday in the Studio

INSPIRATION JOURNALING

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I think one of the most important tips I can pass on to anyone is that of keeping an inspiration journal. It helps creativity in so many ways from interior decorating to card making. It helps with choosing colour schemes, images, sketching ideas and looks pretty too.

My first book many many years ago was a little notebook, A6 size stuffed with scribbles, notes and images all collected from basically anywhere, kept on my desk or carried around with me to help inspire me with ideas.

I progressed from this into a hand made journal, bigger, spiral bound to allow the pages to lie flat and filled with colourful pages of images, paint swatches and textures. It was the perfect place to store colour schemes and if I was stuck for an idea it was the first place I’d look. There was no Pinterest in those days to scroll through. Back in the day I wrote an article for Scrap 365 about it, I was so passionate about the idea.

A lot has changed since those days but the way I keep inspiration has remained the same, it’s the place I refer back to time and time again keeping my swatches and colour schemes in one handy place.

At the moment I’m working on some botanicals for a workshop later in the year and picked a few wildflowers with the idea to sketch them. As they were out on my table I wondered if I could match the colours to papers and die cuts and then started to pull out other bits too.

I really like the colour graduation on this plant below as well as those curly stems.

It didn’t take long to gather a little pile of papers and die cuts from my offcuts box to match the theme, and thought a collage in my inspiration journal would perfectly preserve this moment.

For this exercise I took the colours and used them on my gel plate. I found it helpful to stick to only three or four colours and it prevented me from making a muddy mess.

These gel prints will be used in my journal or as card backgrounds perhaps, what ever they become they’ll be a reminder of a morning walk.

I hope you found his useful and try it for yourself.

Jaine x

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Messy vs tidy

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Hello from my studio. It’s Friday erm… now Monday (it’s been one of those weeks), outside is hot and sticky but my basement studio is cool so I’m staying here to create in the shade.

In my studio I’m lucky to have a long artists table. Looking down at it right now I find it interesting that the far end where I do my die cutting, putting cards together and generally anything which needs to be done in a clean, paint free environment, is pristine and the other is messy, chaotic and painty. It’s a bit like my garden, organized chaos I call it. I suppose that’s what comes of being able to leave everything out all the time. I find I work better if I leave the paint and gel plate out all the time as I tend to come and go when I have a few moments. The other end is where I cut my prints and mount them to create backgrounds for cards.

I love the clean look of crisp white card blanks and simple die cuts. From my basket of white card offcuts I cut delicate images which finish off these gel printed backgrounds nicely. They’re like little pieces of abstract art I think. The fun is in creating these printed backgrounds, never knowing quite what I’ll end up with, then cutting them up and layering them on a clean white card base. All they need now is a simple sentiment.

By contrast the other end of the table is where the messy stuff happens. Paint, gel plate and stencils, it’s generally a bit of a mess. Occasionally there’s a fight between the two spaces as I run out of drying room for my prints but so far it’s not been an issue.

These cards are the product of my two sides, the messy mixed media side and the clean, contemporary and simple card side.

The cool thing is though, my favourite backgrounds are the ones which are simply my gel plate clean off sheets.

I mean look at this…especially when I use metallic paint to clean off the plate.

Have a good week

Jaine xx

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BACK In black

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Always looking for a new challenge and something to keep my journaling from becoming stale, I was super excited when Clare from Paper Pen and Plan sent me a couple of black journals to try out and see what I think.

Both are from Dylusions and have thick pages making them both great for any mixed media work.

The challenge is how to fill them and which mediums work best over the dark background paper. It’s surprisingly not as difficult as you might think and the black really does make most paints shine on top.

The smaller travelers notebook style journal I decided to use as a doodling notebook, experimenting with different pens on the black pages. The second and bigger of the journals I’m treating as any other journal and loving how it’s working out.

I thought adding a border would make it look neater but actually the page is too narrow for that and the artwork just looked a bit squashed. The only way to make the border work is by creating a double page spread, so that’s exactly what I did here. I have to admit though to going back around the edge with black gesso once I’d pulled off the tape. For some reason I want to keep the black journal clean. A double page spread is definitely the better way to go.

The little collage was pre sewn before being stuck down to the page and adding a bit of black washi tape is an unexpected addition. So far I’ve been using acrylic paints on the pages so I thought I’d try something else. Distress Oxide inks are a bit different and work well on dark backgrounds. I used both the reinkers and the ink pads but found the ink pads got a bit lost. The page needed lifting somewhat so I added some stenciling with white gesso which I also went back over with Stickles.

The doodling journal is much cleaner, fits nicely in my bag with a couple of pens and looks neat with stencils too. These are the stencils I designed for Paper Pen and Plan to go with the Sweet Treat boxes, I love them.

Gel pens, especially metallic ones look fab on a black background, and a white Posca pen goes brilliantly around the edges of the design.

I enjoy using the black journals for a change and discovering which mediums work best on the pages.

The black Dylusions journals can be found at Paper Pen and Plan on Etsy

Have a lovely week

Jaine xxxx

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normal is boring

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Normal can be a blessing after a period of upset and stress, however just doing one little thing out of the ordinary every now and then peps life up and keeps things from becoming stale. Well that’s my excuse for straying a bit away from the norm sometimes.

I’m back in the studio after a period away and very keen to get the paints and pens out again. I find comfort in these things and just having my supplies around me brings me joy. I also think that starting in a small way is easier than trying to complete a big project right from the get-go! This is why I was pleased to see a couple of tags in this month’s Sweet Treat Box from Paper Pen and Plan and a challenge to create a tag book with them.

Without a clear plan of what I would end up doing, I decided to start with a little abstract watercolour on the tags using a lovely gold watercolour paint I bought recently and hadn’t yet tried out.

A Prima text stamp added a bit of contrast and extra texture. The lines just happened naturally which I was surprised about to be honest as I usually go for circles, anyway it was quite appropriate that the text should also be placed that way on too.

Using the tag as a template I cut several more from odd bits of paper, brown paper, bags, book pages and gel prints.

I’ve seen this binding method in several places recently and it seemed like the most simple way to bind the pages together. Handily the box also came with the washi tape so of course it was obvious I’d use it here. I taped the pages together in pairs.

Then glued the pairs together back to back. A strip of fabric covered the spine and added a pretty bright splash of colour to the front too.

It just took a stitch stamp and a couple of stickers (also in the same box) to finish the front. I added a thin smear of gesso to the pages so I could add paint to them and tested out the first page with a few watersoluble crayons and more stickers. Anything but boring I think.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and I’d love to know what you’re up to as well.

Jaine xx

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