Painted Art Journal for Tink

Hello all!  Sorry I haven’t been blogging very regularly.  The kids have kept me busy.

I’ve already talked about my daughter’s birthday party, now let me tell you about one of her gifts.  A while back I blogged about a painted art journal I created for myself.  My daughter loved it so much that she wanted me to do one for her.  I offered a few ideas I had in my head about what it could look like, but she opted to have it look mostly like mine.  BUT we found a bigger sketchbook (8×10) for her book.  As before, I primed it by using about five coats of gesso.  I used acrylic paints, and I sealed it with Mod Podge Hard Coat.  I think it turned out lovely.

Metallic Geometric Side

Metallic Geometric Side

Jessie Journal 2

Glittery Floral Side


You Might Be a Craft Addict If…

I was attempting to organize my craft/guest room, and I started thinking as I looked at groups of object “you might be a craft addict if…”  Ding, ding!  That’s all it took for me to abandon my organizing and start a list.  So, here it goes.  Feel free to add your own in “comments.”IMG_2103

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…

  1. You more colors of thread than you thought possible.
  2. You have enough piles of fabric to be mistaken for a fabric store.
  3. You visit your local craft store once (or more) every week.
  4. You have at least one entire container full of ribbon.
  5. You cannot pass clearance craft items without buying some of them.
  6. You have craft supplies you’ve never used but “know” you will, eventually.  (Yes, I will start scrapbooking.  And quilting.  And…)
  7. Your “guest/craft” room has no place for a guest.  (Um, there’s a bed in there, somewhere.)
  8. You are constantly buying and/or making more items to help you store your craft supplies.
  9. You need to re-organize your craft supplies monthly to accommodate new items.
  10. You spend hours pinning “pins” you will probably never get to on Pinterest.
  11. You spend even more hours re-organizing your Pinterest boards so you can find things when you want to eventually try to do them.
  12. You have a bunch of blank canvases, yet still buy more when they are on sale.
  13. Your paint rack is overflowing and you probably should buy a second one.
  14. You consider co-opting portions of your children’s closets to store some of your craft items.

If any of the above apply, you might be a craft addict.

Painted Art Journal

I’ve frequently seen these beautifully decorated art journals on Pinterest.  Usually, the artist has used polymer clay.  While I intend to do some experimentation with polymer clay, I haven’t quite gotten there yet.  However, I found a plain black sketch book on clearance, so I bought it with the intent of making it beautiful with paint.  After all, who wants an art journal that has a boring cover?  That’s not very inspiring, is it.

The first thing I did with  my shiny black sketchbook was to give it 4-5 coats of gesso.  Once that was done, I was ready to draw my design.  On one side, I drew hibiscus flowers (a favorite of mine), and on the other side, I used some stencils to draw a bunch of different shapes.  (I wasn’t in the mood to free-hand and keep erasing until I got it right.)

My design sketched out on the gesso-covered cover.

My design sketched out on the gesso-covered cover.

As you can see, my hibiscus drawing isn’t quite perfect.  Seeing the way the final cover photographed, I wish I’d used white paint to cover some of the sketch lines that went through the middle of the flower petals.  While my final product looks good to my naked eye, the extra light from the camera really brings out the flaws, as you will see shortly.

Next, I started painting.  I wanted the sketchbook to have “bling,” so I chose to do one side in flat paint to be covered with glitter later (the flowers), and I did the other side in metallic paints (the shapes).  I had a hard time finding the right color for the background on the metallic side.  I tried to blend some metallics together to get metallic green because I didn’t have any.  That didn’t work out so well, so I wound up choosing metallic blue.

In progress photo of the covers.  You can see I've started painting over the blah green with blue (metallic side).  I had barely started the flower side at this point.

In progress photo of the covers. You can see I’ve started painting over the blah green with blue (metallic side). I had barely started the flower side at this point.

Once I had both sides painted the way I wanted (including adding the glitter on the flower side), I painted both covers with Mod Podge Hard Coat, which is intended for furniture.  I figure if it can protect your designs on furniture, then it surely can protect these sketchbook covers from getting banged up.

Here’s the final product:

The glitter side with the hibiscus flowers.  As I noted above, the photographs show a few of the pencil lines through the paint.  I was using layers of craft paint--I could probably have avoided this with using the thicker artist paint I have, but then I would have needed to mix a lighter color to get a layered effect.

The glitter side with the hibiscus flowers. As I noted above, the photographs show a few of the pencil lines through the paint. I was using layers of craft paint–I could probably have avoided this with using the thicker artist paint I have, but then I would have needed to mix a lighter color to get a layered effect.

The metallic side.  I noticed while editing the pictures that there are a few white edges between paint colors.  Oops!  Oh, well.  I think it's fine for what I'm using it for.

The metallic side. I noticed while editing the pictures that there are a few white edges between paint colors. Oops! Oh, well. I think it’s fine for what I’m using it for.

Finally! I Am Preparing for the Holiday

This year, things have seemed more hectic to me than last year.  Even though I haven’t had a totally organized Christmas plan since before I had kids, we usually at least had our tree up by the end of Thanksgiving weekend.  Not this year!  I’ve been busy doing a lot of things, some of which had to be done so that I could get my living room tree-ready.  Finally, things are coming together.

In my post “Long Time, No Blog,” I mentioned that I’d been painting some Christmas ornaments for my Etsy store.  I’m happy to say I finally finished them!  Of course, my mom saved me the trouble of posting one as she bought it for the gift exchange with her bridge group.  I had to finish these so I could straighten up the guest/craft room so I had some place to put some of the extra toys that were in the living room.

Here are two of my ornaments:


I also had to clean out our coat closet in order to move some long-term projects that I won’t be doing any time soon out of the living room.  I will spare you those photos.  It was truly frightening.

Once the living room was ready (on December 6), I got the tree put together while my daughter was playing a video game and my son was napping.  I did this so that FOR ONCE I could properly arrange the branches so the tree doesn’t look anemic.  It’s hard to do that with kids saying “can I put the ornaments on yet??”  Of course, the branch arranging was not good for my already troubled sinuses (I have a cold).  It is amazing how much dust can get on a tree that is in a box with just a small crack.  Guess that small crack is enough.

After the tree was up and I’d added the tinsel and the lights, I let the kids do the rest of it pretty much by themselves.  I was beat and ready for a rest.  I did manage to put on 3-4 ornaments, and then I had to re-arrange a couple that were causing too much sagging.  At any rate, here’s our tree.

She is a little lop-sided.  I don't think she has many years left.  And I'd REALLY like a new skirt for her.  But, she's festive, and that's all that matters.

She is a little lop-sided. I don’t think she has many years left. And I’d REALLY like a new skirt for her. But, she’s festive, and that’s all that matters.

So, how are your holiday preparations coming?  Anyone else out there feeling as behind in their preparations as I do?

Got Into Trouble at Michael’s

I don’t have much time today, but I wanted to let everyone know that Michael’s is having a one day sale on Artist’s Loft Gallery Wrapped canvases:  70% off.  I got three big ones.  I wanted more but I didn’t want to be in too much trouble with the hubby.  But, this art girl is thinking she hit the jackpot today!

They also had clear glass Christmas ball ornaments (the kind you see many ideas for on Pinterest) for 50% off.  Yeah, I got some of those, too.  My tree needs new ornaments like I need an extra hole in the head, but I couldn’t resist.

Long Time, No Blog

I feel terrible because it’s been so long since I posted anything to my blog!  I don’t really have a good excuse because I could have made the time if I had tried.  It just seems I can’t get my thoughts together lately.

It all started when my daughter went back to school and Girl Scouts started again (I’m one of the leaders).  We had an overnight to plan in August and another in September.  We had meetings to plan.  And I wasn’t even doing most of the planning.

After the last Girl Scout overnight, my family had a little vacation to Disneyland just in time to see it decorated for Halloween.  It was cool.


The only thing we really wanted to do but didn’t get to do was to ride all the rides in California Adventure‘s Cars Land.  The lines were horrendous for most of them.  The fast passes were gone faster than you could snap your fingers.  And this was supposedly “light traffic” season.

In the midst of all of these adventures, we had a few problems around the house.  A very large bottle of Dawn sprung a leak and left a real mess under the cupboard.


And this picture was taken after half of it was cleaned up.

When we got back from Disneyland, we found the circuit breaker in the garage tripped the night we left.  We had a freezer full of meat that completely defrosted.  It was a bloody (literally) mess.  No pictures will be posted of that–I don’t know where I’ve filed them, and they would gross you out.

Prior to all the trips, I was working on some ornaments that I am painting and hoping to put into my Etsy shop ASAP (if I can finish the touch-ups in the next two weeks).



I made a couple of painted boxes and a painted truck for my friend’s children’s birthdays.


And lastly, I’ve been enjoying the (finally) cooler weather taking walks.  My daughter and I found this interesting “L” shaped rock in the dirt.


At any rate, I hope to be back to blogging semi-regularly soon.  And to posting many more crafts and maybe some recipes I’ve been trying to tweak.

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by!

Experimenting with Painting Plastic

Having young children, I frequently wind up with these plastic boxes from various foods that I would like to find some way to make pretty and re-use.  As my go-to thing for making things pretty is paint, I have tried in the past to just paint them, but the paint always peels off.  This time I tried something new:  a few layers of gesso.

The above shows my box with several coats of gesso.  Unfortunately, as I added additional layers of gesso, some of the older layer would come up in places, so I did not get completely even coverage.  When I got them as well-covered as I thought I could, added paint.  I chose colors my daughter would appreciate.  I also used a layer of Delta Ceramcoat varnish to make it glossy.

 I noticed, however, that the inside showed my uneven gesso coverage.  Oh, well.  I figured if this box stood up to the test of use and time, I would figure out how to fix that problem later.

Inside of box–you can see uneven white and even some pink coming through.

So, after it was all dry and ready to go, I gave it to my daughter with instructions to tell me when/if the paint started to chip.  Within two weeks, the paint was chipping, and I don’t think she opened it that often.  Here’s what it looked like:

So, I guess it’s back to the drawing board as far as how to make plastic boxes pretty for storage.   Have any of you found a good way to make your plastic pretty?