Christmas mixed media canvas

christmas mixed media paper art

It’s December!!  I’m so excited for Christmas, I’ve been decorating and diy-ing like crazy!  Not to mention, playing Christmas music 24-7.  🙂

Amidst all my decorating, I found this amazing set of tissue paper at Tuesday Morning- red and black and white with Christmas text.  It’s perfect for the decor that I have going in my basement, so I decided to create a christmas mixed media canvas as an artsy touch to match my theme.

I am in the midst of creating a video for this, but I’ve run into technical difficulties. Hopefully I’ll be able to restore some corrupted files.  But I wanted to share this with you anyway.  I was so worried in the early stages that it wasn’t going to turn out well, but it did and I’m so happy I have to share!

christmas mixed media artwork

  • I added several layers of tissue paper with gel medium
  • Tim Holtz has an amazing line of washi tape- using 3 0r 4 of his designs, I added them outward from the middle of the canvas.
  • Stencils and texture paste were next- adding some texture to the surface in the shape of clocks and calligraphy.
  • I added ink in several places- distress ink and india ink to dirty things up a bit and highlight some of the stenciled bits.
  • Several christmas papers, mixed with a bit more tissue paper, formed the layers of paper in the middle.  I used gel medium and foam tape to adhere them together.
  • Chipboard!!!  I painted the bigger pieces with white gesso and then highlighted them in red.  For the smaller stars, I adhered them to the canvas first and then painted them.
  • I used snow effects paste to add more texture the the chipboard and various places on the paper.
  • A few splatters of some fluid acrylic paint, and it’s finished!

christmas mixed media art

I have never done any christmas mixed media pieces, or any holiday themed art pieces for that matter, but I love it!  Have any of you created any pieces for Christmas?  I’d love to see them!

Mixed Media Canvas for Creative Embellishments Nov. Challenge

mixed media canvas with chipboard elements

I hope everyone had a chance to be creative this weekend!  I’ve been working on some challenges, which is usually something I struggle with, but I think I’m getting better at anticipating when things are happening and finding new opportunities.

This mixed media canvas I created for Creative Embellishments Nov. challenge.  They had posted a mood board and stipulated that we had to be inspired by at least one thing on the board- the colors, the mushroom, the pumpkins… we also had to incorporate one of their flourishes.

I chose the butterfly for my inspiration.  Also, I was inspired a bit by the orange color on the board, though my oranges are brighter and bolder and mixed with red.


  • First, I adhered some torn tissue wrap to the surface of my canvas, focusing on the two corners.
  • I used a honeycomb stencil to add texture paste over the tissue wrap.
  • Now for color!!  I splashed india ink in three colors (orange, bright red and crimson) on the surface, focusing on the corners so those areas would be the most vibrant.
  • Once it was all dry, I added some white ink in between the two corners to help the orange blend into the canvas a bit.
  • Now for some chipboard elements.  I wanted to color them with the same colors I used on the canvas, so I needed to paint them white first.  I actually adhered the butterflies to the canvas first since it’s easier to paint them when they are stuck in place.
  • To color the butterflies, I put a couple drops of black ink in the middle, and a few drops of colored ink to the outside and let the wet ink blend together on their own.  I love the way they look!
  • I sanded a piece of rectangular chipboard, painted it with white gesso, and stamped the word Beauty onto it to add an element of text.
  • I used some paper butterflies for my final element.  Before I adhered them I sprayed them with water and inked the points of each wing.  Making them wet first helps the ink to spread a little more and really blend nicely into the paper.

mixed media canvas with texture paste mixed media canvas with tissue wrapmixed media canvas with text elements and chipboard

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I’d love to hear your comments and ideas… Do you use the same techniques?  Different variations?  Let me know!  I love being inspired by you!

Altered Planner Cover- lots of texture!

altered planner

I have a confession to make- I hate planning.  HATE it.  I don’t really know why, but every time I try to get organized I lose interest, and just end up doing- I don’t know- not what I need to do.

Anyway, I recently found a new way of planning that uses bullets on graph paper. It actually seemed like it could work for me, and since I already had an empty graph journal I’d bought for like 2 dollars at Borders and never used, I’ve been working on my planning for the past week.

Of course, the journal I’m using needed a new cover.  Black is just too boring, am I right? Ok, it’s not always boring- I actually like black a lot, but this journal needed something else.


  • I began by sanding the faux leather surface.  I knew I was going to be adding a lot of layers, and I wanted as much for them to adhere to as possible.
  • Then came layers of gesso, cheesecloth, muslin, and texture paste.  I specifically formed the muslin to create a pocket for a pen, so wherever I may take my planner, I’ll have a pen with me as well.
  • I sealed them all with gel medium for extra strength before I added anything else.
  • I used several stamps to decorate my textured surface.
  • Then came lots of metal embellishments, along with a chipboard clock that I cut in two.
  • Once they dried in place, I painted them with gesso.
  • I added ink with a “controlled splatter” technique I learned from a recent video by Mireille Binet- she ink brushed on plastic wrapping to apply droplets of ink to the surface of her project, and I replicated that here.  Thanks Mireille!
  • Flowers and beads came next, with a few splashes of ink for the petals.
  • The last thing was to add the chipboard sentiment.


Hopefully I can become more organized and better able to plan my days with the help of this altered planner.   I think this yummy cover will help, don’t you?

altered planner close up

altered planner cover with mixed media elementsaltered planner cover

altered planner back cover

Thanks for reading!  Don’t forget to subscribe for more tutorials and projects- I’m brainstorming a lot of awesomeness for the blog, so stay tuned!!

Using Stencils and Texture Paste in your Art Journal


So, I have a confession to make.  While I love to art journal and splatter ink and gesso on blank pages, I am totally intimidated by it as well.  I really struggle to find the balance between being inspired by and learning from other artists, and comparing myself to all of your amazing pages and feeling like a complete novice. Plus, I tend to over think things and analyze all the little details, trying to figure out what should come next, so that one spread ends up taking 2-3 days, which is totally unnecessary.

So, I gave myself a challenge and I’ve been practicing.  I really excel when I can set boundaries for myself and work on one or two techniques at a time.  In the past week I’ve been using the same parameters for each page in my art journal- using stencils, texture paste and india ink to create all my pages.using stencils and india ink on art journal pages

Of course, I did add other things on many of the pages, as well- paper embellishments, and a lot of stamps.  But it was fun and allowed me to work so much faster to know before hand that I was going to be using texture paste and stencils to create the main parts of my pages, and india ink to color them.

using stencils on art journal pages

using stencils and texture paste on art journal pages

I will say this- I am a fan of using a small brush to splatter ink on my pages, and then misting them with a spray bottle.  I feel a lot more in control of where the ink ends up then when I use spray inks.  Plus, the feathered effect that happens when ink splatters are hit with water is super cool.  You should definitely give it a shot!

using stencils on art journal pages

So, what should my next technique challenge be for my art journal?  I’m thinking something to do with text…  I’ll let you know!


The ATC Wedding Guestbook

The ATC wedding guestbook

I have a sister who was recently married. It’s become a tradition for me to do some kind of handmade item for each of my sister’s at their wedding, and as I brainstormed ideas, I began to think of the ATC’s I had been making.  I started an ATC art journal not too long ago, and a few other of my projects-in-progress are ATC heavy, so the idea popped into my head to do a wedding guestbook with ATC’s for my sister’s reception.

There are so many guestbook ideas out there, and I’ve wanted to try them all. Writing messages on Jenga blocks, signatures on a super large mat for a wedding portrait, and even polaroid photo booths.  By the way, if you have any unique or awesome guestbook ideas, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!!  I have 3 sisters and a brother who are still single, and I’m going to need some more ideas!

Since my whole family, including the bride, traveled from out of town for the wedding, I decided to make something simple.  This ATC wedding guestbook was perfect!

ATC wedding guestbook in action

ATC’s, or Artist Trading Cards, are tradtitionally cards that are 2 1/2*3 1/2 inches- the size of a baseball or playing card.  Artists will create unique paintings, designs, and mixed media from these cards and trade them with other artists.  The name Artist Trading Card has come to mean any card of this size that is used for any kind of project, and not just for trading.

ATC full wedding guestbook album

My sister’s wedding colors were rainbow and black.  She had 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, each with a different color, so I didn’t worry about shades or color combinations when I created these cards.  I used drops of india ink sprayed with water to create these unique patterns and color blends.  I’m sure you can imagine how long it took for me to individually color 200 cards, especially since I had to spread them out as I went so they could dry.  (Hint: it took several days)  Also, paper has a tendency to curl and warp when you spray it with water, so once each card dried, I stacked them together as neatly as I could, and flattened them under several large, heavy boxes overnight.

ATC wedding guestbook with pictures

Since these cards are the same size as baseball cards, it’s easy to find plastic sleeves for them.  I found most of these at Office Depot, though they are available at art stores like AC Moore, as well.  The final touch was adding full page sheet protectors so I could add a few photographs throughout the album.

I will admit, I was nervous about this.  You never know how things will work out at a wedding, but this album was perfect.  Everyone loved it!  They chose the colors they loved and took their time writing heartfelt messages to the bride and groom. Once everyone’s cards were displayed in the pages the album was a burst of color, and I know it will be a wonderful keepsake for my sister and her new husband as they start their life together.

ATC wedding guestbook for writing messagesLet me know what you think in the comments!  How do you use ATC’s?  Do you have a unique wedding guestbook idea to share?  How would you alter this project?  Let me know, and thanks so much for stopping by!