Ain't No Ninny

Where Creativity and Everyday Life Collide


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Easy Peasy Collage, Stamps & and Lettering

I’m still playing in my holiday art journal.  There are so many pages in it that I will have to do more than one page per day to fill it up.  And that’s fine with me.  While I have time, I’ll play . . . and when it gets busy with the holidays, I’ll focus on family.

I finished 3 more pages today (no prompts). All were done using simple collage, stamping, and lettering techniques.

I added a small cracker box into the journal simply by taping it into a section with designer duct tape.  I stamped all over the inside cardboard of that box with red snowflake stamps to use as backgrounds for two different pages.  The color of the snowflakes reminded me of a reindeer that I had sketched and painted for an art journal page a couple of weeks ago.  I made a copy of that page and cut out the reindeer (and the words “Deer Santa,”), collaging them onto the stamped background.  I hand-lettered the rest of the words on the page using a Posca paint pen in white, a Signo Broad pen in white, and a Fude ball pen in black.  Easy-peasy!

Deer Santa

The next page I did over a scrapbook paper page in the journal.  I had cut Christmas ornaments out of a Pottery Barn catalog and I simply collaged them, overlapping a little, onto the middle of the page. I outlined each in a different color of Pitt big brush pens to make them pop. I added ornament stamps using black archival ink at the top and bottom of the page and colored bits of them in with Pitt big brush pens.  Since both stamps had the word “Joy” in them, I hand-lettered various versions of the word all over the page using a black Sakura Identi-pen and highlighted certain letters with the Pitt big brush pens.  Another page, easy-peasy!

Joy to the World

For the next page, I used a gelatin plate monoprint that I had created several months ago and was saving because it had such a Christmas look to it with its colors of gold, yellow, green, and burgundy.  I collaged it onto the back of a cereal box in the journal using Tombow permanent adhesive then, picking up the gold in the print, I taped all four edges of the page with a goldish-copper glitter fabric tape.  I’m not sure that the glitter of the gold paint or the glitter tape shows up but they really add some sparkle!  I had a page of 7 Gypsies old-fashioned letter rub-ons that I thought would look good on the page.  There was only one of each letter available and I had a difficult time deciding on what song lyrics or saying I wanted for this beautiful print.  I settled on “O, Holy Night” which is my favorite of all Christmas carols.  The only problem was there was only one H in the sheet of rub-ons and two H’s in the title of the song.  I laid out and rubbed on the letter, leaving a space for the 2nd H which I hand-lettered using a black Fude ball pen.  It is not as ornate as the other H but I think it works.  I added the next line in the song in smaller plain letters using the black Fude ball pen.  I think the whole page is gorgeous and I wish the glitter of the golds showed up better in the photo.  Another page, easy-peasy!

O Holy Night

I did all of this in about one hour … or maybe a little more.  This blog post probably took as long.  I found time in my schedule to be creative and I hope you see that you can be creative with very little time in your own day!

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Holiday Art Journal Love #12.31

Two days after I put together my recycled art journal, I have decided that I am in love with it.  It is so nice to doodle, stencil, paint & spray to my heart’s content knowing that it is just for me, just for fun!  And I love that I am using a non-traditional holiday color scheme on the pages.  The reds are more magenta, the greens more teal . . . and lemons, aquas, corals and violets have crept in there.  It seems less formal and more festive to me than traditional Christmas colors.

This morning, I completed the back cover of the journal.  I gessoed it to cover up the cereal box images and then stenciled snowflakes all over it in acrylic paints using colors that appeared on the front cover (the snowmen page). The stencil I used is called Blizzard by ColorBox.  After the stenciled areas were dry I doodled inside each snowflake with a white Uni-ball Signo Broad pen (except the yellow snowflakes which I doodled with a black roller-ball pen).  I love the way it turned out.  No words.  Just colorful snowflakes on a white background.  I’ll leave the words and images for inside the journal.

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Back cover of my holiday journal.

When I finished the back cover I still had wet acrylics sitting on my palette.  So I picked up a wide brush and used the paint up on the inside of the front cover.  I didn’t bother to gesso.  I merely painted directly on the inside cardboard of the cereal box that forms the cover of the journal.  I like the blocky look of the paints.  When I stared at it for a moment, I saw a cat’s head near the top center so I sketched in a whimsical cat onto the dried paint using a Stabilo All pencil (which is water-soluble).  I decided to leave it for now until I decide what should accompany the kitty on the page.


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Inside front cover of the holiday journal.

I had a lot of fun this morning just playing in the journal.  But now I have to do grown-up chores.  I’ll be back another time with more.

I hope you can find something creative and fun to do today too!


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31 Days Has December…

It’s been about a week since I blogged last. I got sick with either whopping allergies or a cold two days before Thanksgiving.  Cleaning the house, preparing the feast, and then cleaning everything up afterward took a toll on my energy and I am finally beginning to feel myself again.  And just in time too!

December is here and it has 31 days in which to create.  The late fall is full of fun and a flurry of family activities. One of the activities I decided to do this year is to keep a holiday art journal.  I feel no pressure to work in it every day or to finish a page each day, but I do want to get in the holiday mood and sustain some form of creativity for the next 4 weeks.  I plan to loosely follow prompts given in a free “12.31” holiday journal workshop sponsored by Dawn DeVries Sokol, the same person who does NaNoJouMo during November.  If you’re interested you can find it here:  http://www.dawnsokol.com/1231/ .

I decided to create my own journal out of cereal and cracker boxes using a technique that Dawn teaches in a workshop on Creativebug.com .  I used two cereal boxes, two cracker boxes, a greeting card and four pieces of heavy scrapbook paper/cardstock.  I will gesso and paint or otherwise decorate each page as I use it.  Yesterday (December 1st) I started putting the journal together and today I finished the journal and decorated the cover for it.

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You can see that the boxes, cards, and papers I used are different sizes.  That’s A-okay for what I will be doing.  I’m happy to re-cycle items I would otherwise throw out.

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Along the right edge I deckle-cut each of the boxes to give them a little more interest.

Holiday Journal 1231

After binding all of the pages together with a needle and twine, I covered the outside spine in decorative duct tape.  I decorated the cover page with gesso, Dylusions sprays, Posca paint pens and a white gel pen.  The two snow-people are made from circles that I had painted as an exercise in a watercolor workshop a few months ago.  I kept those exercise papers just in case I wanted to use bits and pieces as collage in my art journal.  Again, re-use & recycle.

I have no idea what this journal will look like at the end of December, but I’m pretty sure I will have fun working in it.  I hope you also find something fun and creative to do during this last month of 2014!