I’ve been making handmade art journals out of upcycled papers, handpainted and stamped papers and other studio ephemera. Here’s a quick peek inside one:
I Break a Rule
Now, here’s where I break one of the “rules” of email post updates and talk about more than one thing. In other news, my art prints will be available in the soon-to-be-launched Handmade at Amazon marketplace.
I’m super excited and busy getting prints ready for the new shop. There will be a mix of old favorites, new works and vintage inspired prints so there’s something for everyone.
Look for a new signature series gallery quality line that will include a personal signature and studio bonus. Also, I’m working toward more behind the scenes information, studio updates and subscriber only exclusives in different formats so look for updates on that soon too.
For now, get sneak peeks at works in progress, and experimental work on my ShinyDesigns Face Book page.
Thank you so much for coming along and making stuff!
Isn’t this a something? It’s a colored doodle!
It’s a sample from one of the book projects that’s been on my worktable lately. One of the things I do for folks is work with authors as a sort of muse/editor/wrangler to help them get their books written and published.
This particular book is a coloring book for grownups so there wasn’t so much writing and editing as wrangling, but it’s the same creative process: idea, refine and organize, create and write, edit, refine some more, set it free in the world. That’s simplified but it’s the gist of it.
This coloring book features the artwork of the lovely and talented Carolyn Medlin Hawkins who has been drawing these doodles for years – only in black and white; she never colors them in. Now that grownups have gotten wise to the happiness that coloring can bring, it was time for her work to have a larger audience. So, she bravely stepped forward to publish her first coloring book.
I’m admittedly biased (I love all my authors and think they’re brilliant) but her designs are wonderfully organic. What I like most about her book is that each one is hand-drawn art and shows the mark of a human hand. Having colored a few myself (I did the coloring for the samples here and in the book), they’re much more interesting and enjoyable; it’s really a way of knowing the artist a little better.
The book, it’s called My Big Kid Doodle Book, should be making its debut on Amazon this month – look for an update and other news on that very soon!
I have a definite soft spot for historic works and have spent a fair amount of time rummaging through the digital attic for books and images from the time spanning roughly the 1840’s to the early 1900’s. So many of these books have wonderful artwork and information from a different time and lifestyle that I find fascinating as well as inspiring. I really love incorporating that look and feel into some of my current work – like this a colorful digital collection inspired by an 1899 seed catalog.
About the Collection
I ran across this Plant Seed Company Seed Catalog from 1899 and loved the colors in the cover (you can have it as ready to frame art from the print shop) as well as the detailed drawings of vegetables and flowers.
With no photographs, the drawings had to sell the seeds! One thing that struck me about the vegetables was how many different kinds were on offer; so many things we don’t see in supermarkets now – like Salsify, Dandelion (as a vegetable not a flower) and Martynia (which is also known as “devil’s claw.”)
The flower section was similar to current catalogs: the newest and most tantalizing cultivars up front with the old favorites like sunflowers and pansies filling out the rest.
It was telling how much more important food crops were at the time because the catalog was mostly devoted to food and animal feed crops with the flower seeds having much less space.
I love seeing these vintage publications and how everyday life was both different and yet similar. Next, I’m thinking about a millinery book from the early 1900’s to bring back to life as a newly published complete book. There are also books in development/editing from two other authors in very different genres – look for updates on those soon!
Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. As always, I’d love to hear from you so drop me line with your thoughts and comments.
I’ve been working with paint and paper and other stuff all together (the fancy term for that is “Mixed Media”) to make a Collage Journal Cover and wanted to share what I came up with. You can download the 7-page PDF tutorial for full instructions with pictures on my other site, DigitalPapercrafts.com.
A Project to Get Moving
I’ve been unwell lately and making things always seems to help. A kind friend gave me this little roughly 5 x 7 notebook from the dollar store. It was just the nudge to get me started!
While you’ll find more information in the tutorial, the gist of it is that I removed the covers from the notebook and painted them (both sides) with a metallic bronze acrylic craft paint. Then using the Steampunk Time Passing set of four tags, I glued two on each cover.
Fun With Paint
The next step was the fun part: crackle painting! Instead of commercial crackle medium, I used plain white glue as the medium and then over-coated that with cream acrylic paint.
Finishing Up and Moving On
Next came embellishments and final touches. Last, I sealed the whole thing with spray sealer and put it back together. It was a fun project – not too involved but very satisfying. The perfect thing to get moving again!
Feel free to share this tutorial with anyone you think will like it, but please don’t use it commercially or claim ownership of it. If you liked this and found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you and learn about your project.