Thursday, November 12, 2015


Hello Hello
I'm here again with another one of my art journal pages, can't remember now which order this one fell in but it is probably my most self expressive. It's no doubt that each of us has multiple layers that make up the whole of us and quite honestly I think that if mine had to be interpreted through art, this is how they would look.
Some soft and sweet, some chaotic and in complete disarray. There are bits and pieces here and there, where as others are just a tangled mess with no sense of order what-so-ever. Then finally there are the oh so few random sparks, these are the layers that I want to capture and compose for I believe these are the pieces that make us unique and allow our inner spirit to shine.
The way this piece even came together is somewhat ironic, I was sitting at my scrap table debating on whether or not to clean it up or forget the whole craft session. I decided to attempt to clean up, hoping that would help get my creative mind to engage and in the process found several waste pieces and odd die cuts laying about so I thought to myself, " could probably just use these instead of trashing them." and viola a page was created.
Now obviously once I got started I went full circle: I got out my paints, my washi tape, some crochet trim, I did some stitching along the sides, even used textured paste with some stencils and ultimately well...created an even bigger mess, that I eventually had to clean up anyway, but boy was it an eye opener and therapeutic actually.  I have held on to scraps for years thinking that they would serve some purpose later and then several months go by and I end up tossing them but now...all I can say is ...WOW!
Although I don't craft near as much as I use to, probably not even half as much as I did a couple of years ago, I still enjoy the process of getting my hands dirty, my fingers inky and sticky with glue because that's when my mind starts racing. I love it when a new idea takes hold and won't let up until I give it a go. That's the moment of magic and it's exciting and exhilarating yet daunting because you never have a guarantee that it will turn out the way your mind's eye sees it.
But you know what?
That's okay...sometimes you just gotta do it anyway...and trust the your gut...close your eyes and see it...look at it from every angle...concentrate on it in your mind...then...just give it a GO!
thanks for peeking
just B

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mixed Media Mini

Hello Hello
Here I am, I have finally found my way out of my book and back to reality. Today I thought that I would share with you this mixed media piece that I made for my oldest daughter. 
I started with white card stock and using a couple of background stamps, stamped them with teal and purple ink then using my spray mists in matching colors I sprayed them until they were covered. Setting them aside to dry I then made their cover.
For the cover I used black card stock and sprayed it with the same mists that I used on my white card stock, then I set to make the flowers. Going once again to my white card stock, I stamped several sizes of flowers out, then finding the matching die, I cut them all out. Once they were all in front of me I used a metallic paint to match my spray colors and painted all of my paper flowers.
As my flowers set to dry I went back to my original paper that I did my collage work on and using a die, cut them out to make coin envelopes. Once I had them all cut I folded them up and adhered them closed accordingly. Then I proceeded to attach them together along the short bottom end of each, making what essentially looks like an expanding file folder, but coin sized...fancy 'eh? 
Now that all my pieces were together, it was time to assemble the whole piece, so using red line double sided tape, I adhered just the short bottom end to the inside of my black cover. Now this is important that you only adhere the bottom edge, because if you adhere the sides any further, then your booklet won't have any 'give' and therefore make it really frustrating to get anything in or out of the pockets.
Now that I had the expanding pocket file finished, I needed to make some tags for the journaling. So once again using white card stock and some of my other acrylic stamps, I set out to make another collage piece, spraying it with the same spray mists so that all the pieces would have a uniform look. Going with a light pink card stock, I decided to use a different die to hold the actual journal lines, once they were cut I added them to the tags. 
Once all the tags were done I decided I ought to add some kind of closure to the booklet, just in case my daughter decided to keep a photo or souvenir in one of the pockets so finding the simplest solution (keeping in mind this is for my nine year old) I used a Velcro dot and at first this was the perfect closure...
this happened
I added all these colorful fibers to each tag because well they are awesome and they totally look awesome on the tags because they match so my Velcro dot won't work, it just keeps pulling off the black cover.


Now eventually I know I will come up with a more reliable solution but for now, it just remains unclosed
does this bother me?...
why yes it does...
I'm dealing with it and moving on (lol) and as I said I will figure it out sooner or later.
So there you have it my mixed media expanding file booklet.
Hope you like...if you have any away...I'm ready
Thanks and have a fabulous day!
just B

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hello Hello
What a fantastic week
I can't even begin to tell you
 For those of you who don't really follow sports (I don't usually either) I do want to inform you... because it is my pleasure to do so...that after 30 years my hometown baseball team finally did it again.
And I'm stoked!!!

The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets 7 to 2 in game 5 of the World Series Sunday Evening!

Thank You Royals

The World Series Parade happened yesterday in downtown Kansas City and although I had to work and therefore could not go...I am so extremely proud of our baseball team and completely emotional after just watching the video of it through one of our local news channels. What an achievement for our boys in blue and for our ball club, so extremely happy!

go royals!
just B
Royals photos are from google search images

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

story box for mom

Hello Hello
How are you my friends? Taking each day one at a time I hope and spending a moment here and there to thank Mother Earth and Father Time for their very important role in each of our lives. 
For today I want to share something I did earlier this year for my mother-in-law...I call this a story box. My thoughts behind this project are multifaceted as well as the steps to create it.

It starts with a story... 
My mother-in-law is a middle child and her and her older sister are very close, they lost their baby brother while he was still at a youthful age and therefore learned very quickly how much family and time truly mean.
I wonder at times did his family know him, did they have the chance to hear his stories, his thoughts, his beliefs...
I struggle myself with telling my story, it seems unimportant yet daunting. But I still strongly believe that someday I should write it down, maybe not so much as an autobiography-no nothing to that extent-but perhaps bits and pieces here and there.
 So there you have my idea brought to life, a place to jot down those bits and pieces as they come.
Because I feel this is an 'in the moment' type of documentation I did not make any prompts as I have in the past with similar projects because I wanted this to be completely random.
What I did instead was create some tabbed sections to just give direction, so one section is family, one is friends, one is even labeled dreams. Although I didn't want specific prompts I did want my mom to have some ideas as to what to include in her story box. Not only are our stories comprised of family and friends but many of our stories include dreams or goals that we've either accomplished or forgotten about altogether and so we can use those as a jumping off points.
As for the box it's self I used a die from Sizzix here to cut my box from a heavy chipboard then I covered both pieces with white Gesso and continued on with several stencils and texture paste. Once I had the foundation established I adhered the box together. 
After the box was completely set and the texture paste dry I moved onto embellishing the sides and the top. I used several items including paper die cuts, wood veneer, crochet trim and metal charms. After I added the second coat of white Gesso I picked out a few spray mists and set to give it some color.
Since my mother-in-law has a Spring birthday I went with a Spring color theme and well I know for a fact that she likes the bright brilliant colors. Besides she fits the color theme very well, she is a very generous and bubbly personality so it fits her.
For the final piece I did add in a pen so that she could keep it with the box, that way when the story comes to her she doesn't have to worry about searching for something to write it down with.
I think now after having made this piece and then several others along the same line, this has become my favorite type of project: some sort of home decor that also includes ways to document our life, our story. I think that it's very important to share who we are with those we love no matter how scary or vulnerable we feel, if they truly care about us then they will accept us exactly as we are.
Don't you agree?
Thanks for stopping in, I hope you are inspired in some way to be creative - be yourself - tell your own story. 
You are worth it!  
just B

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Hello Hello
Welcome to the Weekend!
Today I just wanted to give you all a quick peek at another of my recent Art Journal pages. Probably within the last month or so I have decided to get serious about doing some art journaling, I have seen it around for years and even tried my hand at it a few times in the past with mixed feelings but this time I won't give in so easily.
so here is my next stab at this whole journaling this one was not lyrically inspired but rather driven by my own need to remind myself constantly that it's okay to dream and it's okay for multiple dreams at the same time and it's okay for not a one of them to relate to any of the others...
dream WILD!!!
Don't know about any of you but there is a whole list of things and places and ideas that I have yet to do and if there is any way under the sun that I could ever accomplish even half of them then I will amaze even myself for dreaming them up in the first place.
Now the piece that really inspired this is the texture mesh that you see in the photo above, I actually got that piece of mesh from Ice Pops, you know the Popsicles that you get at the grocery story and then freeze husband loves them so I literally had bags and bags sitting in our deep freeze half full because he won't eat the green ones but then he won't condense the bags when he opens a new one so as I was cleaning out that afore mentioned deep freeze I had like five or six so I figured what the heck, lets see what I can do with them...
I love the texture that it gives me and it was fairly easy to adhere to the page I just used matte medium and viola.
that was that, painted it all black, added a metallic paint over the top, stenciled on the word DREAM and used some sticker letters for WILD, then finished it off with some red splatters. It was quite easy and fast actually and it's one that I like with it's double personality - clean yet complete grunge - awesome!
Thanks for stoppin' in
Have a Great Weekend!
just B

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Hello Hello
Just wanted to touch base and share another art journal page, I think this is the third one that I did but for some reason this one didn't get bound into my art journal so I may have to go back and add it in later.
Anyways this one is super clean and really simple and you know what...?
This one is my favorite so far and I think the reason is because it is clean and simple.

I do think it's funny because this one was also inspired by song lyrics but this time the band is Mumford & Sons...probably one of my all time favorites... and the particular song is Wilder Mind from their new album, Wilder Mind.
Another reason I like this one so much is because I was able to experiment with some new paints this & this that I picked up at Target...and well that is always fun no matter the out come but I have to admit I was rather surprised. This paint is comparable to Folk Art but I really like this jar far better so I know that I'll be picking up some more next time I'm at Target. Plus the color palette that I used - the muted colors - is probably another reason why this one stands out...kinda shabby chic!

Along with the new paint I also was able to play with a new type of metallic rub or rather new to me I should say and I love it. It's dreamy, smooth and silky and so far as I can tell a lot goes a long ways. 
It's by DecoArt and the product is called Metallic Lustre, this particular color is a deep brown called Iced Espresso and it's absolutely gorgeous. I'm excited to use it in some Holiday projects this season. I have a couple of mixed media ideas that I'd like to try and I think that this will add a rich elegance to several of them, so be on the look out for those.
I also picked up the Metallic Lustre in Black Shimmer at Hobby Lobby but I haven't had time to play with it yet...I imagine it will be just as divine but I'll let you know.
So here you have it
I hope you like it and try some art journaling for yourself. It really can be whatever you want it to be so go for it!
just B

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Memory Box with Graphic 45

Hello Hello
Today I have a Graphic 45 piece that I created for a good friend of mine who recently lost someone very dear to her.
Just to give you a bit of back story this friend of mine and I have worked together 10+ years, in the beginning of our work relationship we hit it off really well and became instant friends then as it often goes we kinda lost touch due to schedule changes and life changes but within the last several years we have reconnected and for this I am extremely grateful - she is such a wonderful spirit-always supportive-always encouraging-so I really felt the need/desire to make something extraordinary for her, not only as a moral support in her time of grief but also as a true token of our friendship.
My first inspiration for this piece came from wanting to console her. I wasn't clear on what exactly I wanted to create but slowly the ideas started coming to mind:
meaningful first and foremost
then interactive
and finally decorative.

The second place I found inspiration was from Graphic 45here, not only is this company absolutely on top of their game, they have the best design team around today. Now I wish I could give you the link to the project that I was inspired by but I have looked everywhere and I apologize because I could not find it so just bare with me, it was most definitely from one of their designers and I think I found it through a link in one of their emails so if/when I do find it I will update this post as well as my YouTube video post.
So what I started with is Graphic 45's ATC Book Boxthis from their staples collection and also Graphic 45's A Ladies Diary paper collectionthis now I know that the book box is still available but the Ladies Diary has been retired so you might check Ebay or Amazon if you're interested. The reason I chose this collection is because I wanted the final piece to be something elegant yet nostalgic, plus it fit perfectly for the situation at hand or so I thought.
So the first few steps I did was to create my platform using a wood pillar piece and a 4 x 6 flat wood panel and in doing so I decided to go with black as my background color once I had them glued together. After the gesso dried I added on a paper doily to the top of the wood platform and hung it off the back just a bit to add more texture and more interest when looking at the piece from all sides; plus even with the box adhered in place on the platform you could still see the lace edge peeking out from under it which is exactly what I was going for. Now in order for the box to be ready for this step I first had to mat paper on the front and back sides of the lid, in essence keeping it permanently open...why you ask?... well that's because I needed the lid to act as a back instead of a lid so I stood it open and made it stay open using paper, then I glued the box to it's 'back'. Once the glue set up I moved on to getting the all the details done.
Starting with the back of the piece, I fussy cut a very large image from the paper collection keeping with it the title: A Ladies Diary then backed it with black card stock so that it would stand out against the background paper. From the photo above you can see where that paper doily hangs down giving the back side a more elegant look. Also I added in a few extra embellishments; the die cut lace frame with the date banners and then at the top I added a couple of stamps that I punched out from the paper collection and then added the paper border strip along with a crochet lace trim. After getting all the paper pieces attached I thought that the title piece hanging off to the left side looked a bit bare even with the black card stock behind it so I added the backing piece to help it stand out a bit more on it's own...which is another reason why Graphic 45 rocks, all of their papers are double sided.  
In the photo above you can somewhat see that paper doily that I mentioned earlier and although it does get a bit lost in all the other embellishments I find that with out it I'm afraid it'd be noticeable  how 'empty' that space would look. So keep that in mind when working on decor pieces, it's okay to add layers and for those to get covered up, it's better than having nothing. In the end it all adds up to texture and well...interest so I say, 'go for it'.
Now in this photo you can see some of the details a lot better, I added in quite a bit but I also selected my pieces very carefully, you don't want to over-do it because then it would just appear...thrown together and that's not good - not with this type of home decor. The first pieces I had pulled out and ready to include were the wooden clothes pin and the wooden spool and unbeknownst to me at that time these two pieces became a very significant duo within the piece. I also added in several flowers and a couple of charms.
On the right hand side you can see that I included a pen nib and a muse token both from Tim Holtz's Ideology linehere, plus a metal camera charm and a couple of butterfly motifs.
On the left hand side I added a heart shaped charm that says love, a pearl straight pen that I tucked up underneath the flowers so as not to poke anyone, and then a couple of small black snaps which were added because they were black in color and they kinda went with the 'sewing' theme that I had going on the front even though that wasn't the main direction I was going in. My over all goal was to make it 'feminine' and I certainly think I achieved that.
Now as for the main portion of this memory box I created spaces for lots of stories and/or tidbits to be recorded. My vision was that when my friend thinks about this loved one she can write it down within these spaces - maybe a funny story that happened with just the two of them or a favorite line that her loved one always said, could be that she knows what her loved one's favorite songs were or favorite books were, that can all be written down here.

The bulk of it lies within the 6 large tags that I used from Graphic 45's staple line as well. Creating each tag using paper from A Ladies Diary and several from Prima's Ledger line there is plenty of room to journal just whatever comes to mind.   
In the photo above you'll see the basic make up of each large tag, on the left is one side and then on the right is the opposite side. On the left you'll notice that there is a pocket and in it is a pull out - that is a mini journal, so with 6 tags that's 6 mini journals. On the right you'll see two journal spots, they are double sided with writing lines and then I added the photo tuck at the bottom of each tag on this side because I found since they stand up, when I pulled them out of the box the journal spot had a tendency to fall out.
Also with the 6 large tags I included the 3 smaller tags that actually come in the ATC Book Box, these I use more as a decorative element throughout but there is a tiny amount of space for a smaller amount of information, maybe a favorite line from a movie or lyric from a song. Then within A Ladies Diary I found the 3 little journal spots each having their own little word already printed on them - I thought it to be more than mere coincidence so I added them to my 3 smaller tags, just like it was meant to be. 
Now on the flip side of these smaller tags I added a quote to each that I thought fitting...
hopefully she does as well.
Also in the photo above you have a close up of the mini journal that I made to tuck into that pocket on the large tags; they are each 4 pages and all stamped double sided with journaling lines, then hand stitched together.
So here is the final piece with all of the tags taken out, I left the inside of the box plain because I figured that it's more likely for her to pull one tag out at a time so there was really no need to do anything inside the box. Now I mentioned earlier that the clothes pin and the spool ended up playing an important roll in this piece, well if you watch the video below you'll know what I'm talking about.
Hope you've enjoyed this project and I hope that you're inspired to do something creative today.
just B

I found it...
the inspiration piece...
Thank You Annette!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Right As Rain

Hello Hello
okay so I'm back again with a new page from my art journal and well...
I like this page!
and it's actually bound into my new album that I made specifically for my art pages...
yeah I may be onto something here, something that I finally want to explore a bit deeper so I made a journal.
Now I will admit fully and freely that this page started off as something completely different, first of all it was white to begin with and second it had no rhythm no flow so I ripped off the washi tape that I had on it and grabbed some black gesso and painted over the whole page and basically started over.
The first thing that I saw while waiting for the gesso to dry was the new movers and shapers die this that I had recently purchased sitting out on my table so I thought, 'why not?' cut it out a few times painted them blue and then added them to my page. That was when I decided what my topic would be as well as my color theme. I used a few wood pieces that I painted white to represent the rain drops and then stamped out my journaling onto white card stock cut out each word and then adhered them to the page as well.
the journaling reads:

in order for the flowers to bloom
a little rain must fall

This is actually inspired by some lyrics from Cowboy Junkies the song Southern Rain from the album Black Eyed Man...use to be one of my favorite albums when I was younger...
Anyways I also wanted to add in the textured elements so that's why you see the mesh tape that I painted silver and then the die cut flower stem in green (still within my color palette) I also used a piece of punchinella as my stencil to give me the raised dots. Once I was happy with the layers, colors and texture I called it quits but then decided to add one more element which is the white splatters just to tie in the white rain drops and of course my journal pieces that still have some of the white showing, therefore creating a general flow. In my mind I think it works.
So there you have it...offically my second art journal page but in my new Art Journal it's page number one.
Thanks for stopping in!
just B

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trying Something New

Hello Hello
So I've been trying something new...
Since about the middle of August I have slowed down in my reading and finally...finally after months and months of a dry spell in my craft room I have found inspiration again.
One evening, late as it was, I tuned into YouTube and voila...there it was...
Art Journaling
Now art journaling isn't something new not even to me but every time I have ever taken a closer look at art journaling and the examples shown, I must admit I was a bit put off. I'm not knockin' anybody because this form of journaling is very personal (like any journal) and so to each their own, but I just couldn't see any inspiration in any of the pieces that I was seeing.
But for being an artsy crafter and a journaler at one time or another, I wanted to give it a fair go-round so I tried it...
this is what I came up with.
Yep my very first page and well it's a start, it's not my favorite and even now writing this up I can't honestly say that I even like it all that much now but...
again it's a start
and it is more me than anything else I'd seen previously so I'm okay with it. 
Now for the bits and pieces that I do like:
I like the torn book pages, I like the stenciling that I did with paint and with ink and the way the paint creates texture whereas the ink almost blends into the paper, I like that I was able to use my own die cuts to add more texture, and I like the teal color. Now for my next page I want to concentrate on my collage - to find a rhythm that works for me, maybe with the help of different die cuts and or different stencils then I also want to focus my color palette a bit more, make it tighter more put together then maybe I will find my groove...
so wish me well on my next art journal attempt and I will make sure that I share it with you as I figure out this whole new way of creating.
Until next time...
just B