Create a Vibrant Art Journal Page to Tell Your Story

by Iris Rodriguez

Create a Vibrant Art Journal Page to Tell Your Story

Have you ever been attracted a shape, a pattern, an image, a technique and you don’t know why? For me, it’s been Asemic writing and abstract figures. Asemic writing is a wordless form of writing. It makes words look real, but it’s not meant to be read. This is a perfect way to express that you can write your own story every day and that nothing is set in stone. Imagine’s irRESISTible Pico Embellisher is a very fine mark-making tool and a medium perfect for Asemic writing. See how I make this vibrant journal page.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours

Directions


Step 1

Spray the watercolor paper with water. Then brush on the All-Purpose Ink in Rose Pink, and Tropical Lagoon. Also, Brush on Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray in Dandelion. Do not blend or the colors will turn into a mud color. Rather color in separate areas. You can lightly blend the edges with a brush. Dry the paper.


Step 2

Use an InkBlushers to stencil in patterns with VersaFine Clair in Tulip Red, Monarch and Warm Breeze. You can use any stencil pattern you happen to have.


Step 3

To get a dimensional look, like you see on the top right of the of the image above, stencil the shape with a dark color, then place the stencil over the same area and slightly offset it, stencil a lighter color ink.


Step 4

The Dina Wakley stencil contains the positive and negative shapes. The cutout (positive) piece is considered a mask. Place the mask on the substrate. Make an outline with the VersaFine Clair in Nocturne using a Sponge Dauber.


Step 5

Continue to add to the shadows around the silhouette.


Step 6

Place a few drops of All-Purpose Ink in White onto your craft matt and pounce the Inkblusher into it and color inside the silhouette. This ink is opaque, so a couple of drops is more than enough. This will make the silhouette standout, while slightly making out the color and patterns underneath.


Step 7

Make Asemic writing marks inside the silhouette with the IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher in Tuxedo Black. It helps if you think of several parts of a phrase, song, poem and abstractedly and write it out.


Step 8

On a piece of white cardstock paper, stamp out a sentiment, then cut it out. Glue onto the page. Draw a frame with the black IrRESISTible Pico Embellisher for added interest.

Thank you! If you would like to learn more about stenciling then please see a full tutorial: Learn the Basics of Stenciling

Supplies

Imagine

Other

  • Watercolor paper
  • Crafter’s Workshop – Rebekah Meier stencil; Star and Flower
  • Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Arrows stencil
  • Dina Wakley Casey & Penelope stencil
  • Alphabet stamps

Learn the Basics of Stenciling

by Iris Rodriguez

Learn the Basics of Stenciling

Stencils are a great tool to use for creating images and effects on just about any creative project. You can decorate a  journal with them, create card backgrounds and textures, use in your paintings, or in home décor projects. Imagine’s inkpads, inks, sprays, and texture mediums can all be used with stencils. In addition, Imagine has you covered with applicators such as Sponge Daubers, Palette knives, and Stipple brushes. In this article, I’ll discuss some ways to organize, use with different products, proper care and cleaning your stencils.

Organizing Your Stencils

There many ways to organize your stencils. One excellent way is to search crafting, office and home goods stores for options on storage containers. Whichever you choose, it’s important to lay them flat. I think on of the best ways to keep them flat is to use dividers in storage bins or drawers. File folders can be found in office supply stores. Label your dividers by type, theme, or designer. Another way to store stencils in a three-ring binder book inside plastic page protectors. Place color cardstock paper so that you can see the stencil and maximize storage by storing two stencils on one sheet.

If you have an open crafting space then hang stencils with metal hook clips on a rack. I like the idea of hanging my stencils because I can easily go through them and find what I am looking for. I punch a hole in the corners of my stencils and place them in a binder ring.

I have an IKEA wooden shelving unit to store my crafting storage bins. I’ve attached long screws on the side to hang my stencils. Hanging them freed up space and I can easily access them. Some alternatives are to hang them on a clothes hanger with a metal hook or binder clips, store them flat in bins or drawer or hang them on revolving wire three-tier shoe rack with a metal hook or binder clips.

Stenciling with Imagine Inks

Imagine’s Inkblushers and Sponge Daubers work great with stencils because the soft sponge material presses ink down past the edges of the stencil’s details. The sponges produce sharp edges and finely detailed inking better than most other tool. If you have a highly detailed stencil, the sponge materials are especially handy for getting into small and intricate opening, or getting around the tight areas of the stencil.

Stenciling with All-Purpose Ink and Inkblushers. Add a couple of ink drops to your crafting mat and pounce the Inkblusher over the ink. Inkblushers are highly absorbent and work well with Imagine’s All-Purpose Inks.

Inkblushers can also be used to stencil with acrylic paints. Like with inks, you can get clean edges and good detail. Wash the Inkblusher under running water immediately. If you cannot get to the sink right away, wipe off as much paint as you can and then keep it in water, like your paintbrush water. If left out without being washed, the paint will dry and harden the Inkblusher. Unfortunately, the paint cannot be washed out. However, all is not lost; only the area that had the paint will harden, and not harden the entire sponge. Using your scissors, cut off the piece with the hardened paint and continue to use.

Imagine’s Jumbo Daubers provide fine detailed inking. The handle allows you to have great control and pressure over the stencils. Imagine’s Jumbo Daubers also work great Acrylic paints. Add a few drops of paint to your craft mat, pounce the Dauber on the paint, then pounce the Dauber onto a clean area on your mat. Get the paint evenly on the Dauber and avoid globs of paint. If you get too much paint on the Dauber, it will go under the stencil.

Imagine’s Creative Mediums are smooth acrylic pastes that provide yummy textures for any project. This is where stencils are very different from stamps because you can create an image with texture. Use Imagine’s palette knives and Squeegee to add the Creative Medium. Silver Metallic Creative Medium using a palette knife. Imagine’s Multi-purpose Squeegee has a wider surface; perfect for using with larger stencils with large openings. Use a palette knife to add the medium onto the Squeegee.

Imagine’s Fireworks Craft Spray makes stenciling a breeze. To get clean patterns, start spraying from the outside edges of the paper and spray inwards. Change up the starting point and spray. By starting from the outside, avoids harsh spray edges or heavy splotches of ink. Clean up is easy, simply wipe off your stencil and craft mat with a dry paper/cotton towel. To double down on the stencil effects you can “stamp” the wet ink from the stencil onto another piece of cardstock.

Create unique effects with Imagine Stipple brushes. These brushes have a flat, firm bristle head for stippling. It can be used on just about any surface. They are great for stenciling on fabric for getting into the grain. This creates patterns of fine dots by pouncing the brush onto the substrate. Scumble by brushing at a slight angle in a random fashion. This creates brushstrokes and because of brush’s firm bristles, it won’t get under the stencil.

Cleaning the Stencils

One of the hardest things about working with stencils is cleaning them. Even so, keeping your stencils clean will help to maintain clean edges, last longer and you’ll have a clean stencil for your next project. The key to success for keeping stencils clean, regardless of the medium, is to clean them immediately with a wet paper/cloth towel or baby wipe. Depending on the medium you will have ink/paint residue.

When using pigment inks, All-Purpose Ink, or dye inks, wipe the stencil immediately with a wet paper/cloth towel, or baby wipe. Since these inks are water-based the stencil will clean up quickly and completely. When using permanent inks, simply wiping the stencil off with water, will not get it clean. Use a stamp cleaner or Rubbing Alcohol to clean your stencil. Imagine’s StazOn All-Purpose Stamp Cleaner works well for cleaning ink off your stencils. Dab the cleaner on the stencil and wipe with a dry paper/cloth towel. The cleaner tends to leave a little bit of an oily residue. Simply wipe it off with a clean wet paper/cloth towel.

Acrylics paints are harder on stencils than inks. Acrylic paint can leave heavy buildup on your stencils and distort the edges. As with inks, clean the stencil immediately after using with a wet paper/cloth towel or baby wipe. Get as much paint off of it, as possible.

Use a cleaning or nail brush and soap to clean your stencils. Mix handwashing/dishwashing or Artist Painter’s type soap with water in a container. Dip the brush and scrub the paint off the stencil. Lay the stencil flat and rub gently, avoid bending the openings.

Sources

http://www.shellybailey.com/2014/03/project-life-2014-title-page-and.html

Source: https://www.sadieseasongoods.com/stencil-storage-magazine-rack/

Source: http://www.arthappy.me/paint-storage-display-idea/

Source: http://www.arthappy.me/paint-storage-display-idea/

Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

by Martha Lucia Gomez

Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

With the ever-growing popularity of social media platforms, particularly Instagram, crafters have been talking about how to take better photos of our projects. Since not all of us are professional photographers, and we don’t all have “the perfect tools”, I would like to talk about how to take great photos of your work without having to be a pro-photographer.

Style your photos creatively

These are important elements to focus on when taking a photo of a project:

  • the backdrop or background
  • main focus – which is always your project
  • props or supporting elements to make the focus shine
  • the camera

Backgrounds

With clear and simple photos you need to have a neutral base or background, like white, grey, ecru, cream or even brown tones like wood. Since most of us don’t have professional lighting, set your background up where it is in natural light, and make sure it is a large enough base to place your card or project. Try using dark colors in the background to help the project colors pop.

You can set up your background so that your project can be laid flat or standing up. I find that I can capture more details by taking photos of my cards flat on a surface with the camera located directly above it. Also, if you have a small space to take your photos, this option is perfect because it requires less space and can make it easier to incorporate other elements.

With flat photos, remember your backdrop is the most important part. If you are creative you don’t need to buy expensive elements, you can use everyday household items and surfaces as the background. The most important thing is to keep in mind the colors and textures. A brightly colored element next to your project can round out the scene and support the focal point, but being able to use it as the background will be trickier, tho can work on occasion.

You can use wood surfaces, floor boards, ceramic tiles or designer textured papers, as well as other supplies to add some depth to the photos. You can also use elements like designed plates, which can be easily found in home decor stores. My favorite is HomeGoods because I can buy just one plate, placemat or napkin. Neutral colored fat quarters found at the fabric store is another cheap option.

Supplies or Photo Props

With staging photos, it is nice to add a few elements alongside your card or project—but these cannot compete with the main focus object i.e. your crafting project. You can use many items as photo props. I use a lot of flowers and greenery, my favorites are made of silicone because the fabric flowers don’t look real to me. But definitely, my favorites photo props are the craft supplies. Supplies like inks, stamps, stencils, color pencils or markers, and die cuts are perfect elements to support your project. Extra embellishments like buttons, sequins, washi tape and twines are also great, but always be careful with the color combinations. My suggestion is to start with the neutral items first that won’t compete with your project. If you still aren’t finding what you like, just look around your home and you might find gorgeous elements that you can borrow for a few minutes as part of your photo.

Camera

With today’s technology, you really don’t need to have a professional camera. Cell phones like the iPhone or Samsung make it possible to take amazing photos. To make them work best, use natural light source and keep an eye out for any shadows across your photo. Also, think about a good angle to take the photo. Always start by making your lens parallel to the project front, and then play with the angle from there. My last helpful hint is very simple but important: always clean the lens of your camera or phone before taking the photos. Because we touch our phones so often it is easy for the lens to become dirty.

I hope you found these tips useful. Just remember to stay open to learning new ideas and most importantly have fun! Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and don’t forget to share!

Do you Love all the New Colors of Delicata?

by Renee Zarate

Most mixed media artists have many separate art journals for different projects or products, depending on the type of art work that they do. I love the Delicata inks so much, I needed a journal specifically for experimenting with all of the Delicata inks! It is fun to decorate art journals with other unused experiments or bits and bobs of supplies left over from other projects. When using up the leftovers not only does it produce an interesting project but it also prevents waste and hoarding. This one is pretty enough to set out on a coffee table for guests to look through.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 2 hours + dry time

Directions


Step 1

To begin, paint the cover of a Strathmore Mixed Media paper art journal with black Gesso and allow to dry. Cut a piece of navy blue card stock to measure 4 ½” by 6 ½”. Cut a second piece of the same paper to measure 6 ¾” by 5”, set this aside. Take the smaller piece of the navy paper, choose a stencil with a lot of open space and use a palette knife to apply a small amount of Creative Medium Iridescent paste. Let dry.


Step 2

With a small dauber for each separate color of Delicata ink, apply Rose Gold, Emerald Green, Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue and Golden Glitz onto the stenciled panel. Blend the inks while applying. Dry with heat tool.


Step 3

Using Tear It Tape, mount the stenciled, inked panel onto the larger piece of navy card stock, then black cardstock, cut to measure 5 ¾” by 8 ½”. Adhere entire panel to the note book.


Step 4

Choose different elements to adhere to the cover panel using a strong adhesive. The spoon has been decorated with Delicata Rose Gold ink applied with a Fantastix, sprinkled with Clear Embossing Powder and melted with a heat tool. Stamp Rose Gold polka dots around the navy panel and add ribbons to the spiral binding. The metal roses have been enhanced with Delicata Rose Gold, Silvery Shimmer and Ruby Red inks. It is easy to get into the tight spots by using the pointed end of a Fantastix. By using a separate Fantastix for each color it eliminates the risk of contaminating the ink pad with other colors. White ribbon for the binding can be colored with ink from the Delicata pads to keep everything in the same color scheme.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Strathmore Mixed Media notebook (6.25” x 8.5”)
  • Liquitex Black Gesso
  • Waffle Flower – Pattern Play collection
  • Stencil Girl – Mary Beth Shaw Private Collection stencile
  • Prima – Resin Frame, Rhinestone crown and strips of rhinestones,
    spoon, metal chain
  • Idea-ology – metal phrase
  • Michaels – ribbons, burlap fabric and metal flowers
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Heat tool
  • Cutting tool

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Its Saturday! Do You Have Any Plans?

Sometimes a Saturday afternoon is the best time to set some future goals and plans! Mischelle and Jessica share an inside look of their planners and their favorite stamps and inks to use right along with them.

Its Saturday! Do You Have Any Plans?

Planner Instructions by Mischelle Smith

Imagine and Waffle Flower teamed up in May. As a result I recieved the Happy Mail stamp set and Butterfly die which work great in my planner. The size of the envelope (stamped in Lilac Posies in the photo above) fits perfectly into the calendar grid. And I choose to float the butterflies in the lighter color Pear Tart all over the page. Memento inkpads paired with my Memento Markers is a combo that works every time and worked great with my stamps. Writing in my to-do-list notes with the matching  Memento Lilac Posies Marker was my favorite part! Super cute, right?! It is certainly inspiring to sit with your day of planning and be organized in your ink colors as well.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Waffle Flower – Happy Mail Stamp Set, Butterfly Die
  • Vera Lane Studio – The Mermaid
  • Close To My Heart – Planner

Stay Focused Planner Spread by Jessica Litman

With this summer kicking off, why not up your planner skills by using Imagine ink pads and Waffle Flower “Stay Focused” stamp set?! These planner stamps are perfect for personalizing any planner layout. Here I used Memento Angel Pink, New Sprout, Lulu Lavender, and London Fog and matching Memento Dual Markers for color-coding to keep the different themes in my planner organized. I also used the Xyron Sticker Maker, cardstock and the little notetaking icon stamp to create an extra embellishments and to place them where I see fit.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Waffle Flower – Stay Focused stamp set
  • Xyron 1.5in Sticker Maker
  • Cardstock

 

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Be Extra Creative Today with Sentiments of Love

We have two projects today that share something in common– they both use sentiments of love! Tenia uses handlettering to get across a loving message in a journal page that can serve as a reminder to practice love in all things. While Renee creates a “miss you” greeting card that can be given out any time. Both are great projects to fill your day with a positive vibe!

Hand lettering with memento markers

Hand lettering with Memento Markers by Tenia Nelson

Tenia here from Jazzy Paper Designs with a super fun project made with Tsukineko and Imagine products. Learning to hand letter your craft projects is a life-long study. You can spend hours each day and thousands of sheets of paper practicing loops of an “l” or the descender shapes of a “g”. I am guilty of such an obsessive study. In the above photo, I share the fruits of my labor!! I untwisted the nozzle of my Fireworks bottle and tapped some splashes out on the page, then wrote the sentiment “do it with love” in orange, then followed through with outlining in fine point with black ink. I kept this simple, and of course you can add more details, words, and photos if you wish to turn this into a more art journal project. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Art Journal

 


miss you greeting card handmade by renee zarate

Miss You Handmade Card by Renee Zarate

Like most crafters, I have a stash of cards that can be used at a moment’s notice. When I make master boards, I generally make a few cards or ATCs with the remains of the main project and into my emergency reserve they go. Our color challenge this month was “Tangerine”, a cheerful color of summer, so I decided to make a master board combining all different shades of orange that I have on hand. Objects in nature are never a single flat color but generally an eye pleasing combination of multiple shades of one color, including tangerines.

Tangerine Masterboard for handmade cards

First, I created a monochromatic master board using different shades of orange. I sprayed water on a piece of Mixed Media paper, laid a stencil on top of the wet paper and with a large dauber began pouncing different colors of orange inks. I wiped off the stencil with a baby wipe and dried the paper with a heat tool. Next, I cut a piece of the master board measuring 2 ½” x 3 ½” (standard ATC size). Then, I decorated the masterboard piece with a bird stamp and die cut, washi tape and stamp a sentiment “miss you”, and heat emboss with clear embossing powder.

From here it is smooth sailing. I finished the card by mounting the masterboard piece on mat panel of black, gray and orange cardstock, again on black cardstock, then onto patterned paper and finally mount to a blank white card base. For one last polishing touch, I colored a few paper flowers with ink, let dry and attached them to the upper corner of the card with a strong adhesive.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Sizzix – Bird Talk stamp & die set
  • Big Kick machine
  • Washi tape
  • Sketchbook 11” x 14”
  • Strathmore 140 lb. Mixed Media paper
  • Cardstock – black, gray, orange
  • Blank card
  • Heat tool
  • Baby wipes
  • Paper towels