Category Archives: Creating

Tutorial: Mixed Media Collage Using Digital Printable Tags, Specialty Paint Technique and Embellishments

1Front Cover

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.

Steampunk Time Tags EMU1

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.

Slumps are like Spinach – Yucky but Good for You in the End


I haven’t created a significant amount of art, or anything other than writing, for the last nine months. So, this is what a slump feels like.

Now that it’s been long enough to see clearly what happened, it’s obvious I did it to myself. I took the joy out of creating so I quit and balked like a three year old at spinach. Continue reading Slumps are like Spinach – Yucky but Good for You in the End

I Want a Kindle

No, I crave a Kindle, yearn even.

Now, I’m not an acquisitive person, especially where electronics are concerned. We have one television and it’s not even HD or a big screen. I don’t own an IPOD and most of the time my cell phone has turned itself off because the battery died.

So, why a Kindle? I’ve wanted one since the first version, Kindle 1, was unveiled, but I waited because I couldn’t justify the cost and unproven technology. Then came Kindle 2 and I waited again because it still seemed extravagant. But, the lure of so many books just a click away has wormed its way into my brain. Now, the Kindle DX is due soon.

The DX has a larger screen more suited to reading a newspaper. Think of it, reading the paper one handed without all that ink. No more flapping the pages around trying to find the continuation. Best of all, no more traipsing out in the front yard in your sleepy clothes to get it!

I’m not sure if I can hold out much longer.

A Clay Face – Just for Fun

Several days ago I had an idea to make my own clay model of a face for drawing practice. The idea isn’t mine, it’s from Bert Dodson’s “Keys to Drawing with Imagination” where he talks about modeling your own subjects then drawing them to achieve a more personal interpretation of the subject.

So, I went to the local Michael’s and bought some Laguna Self Hardening Clay. It comes in four colors, but I wanted the Terra Cotta for that natural look and because the lighter colors don’t show shadows and contrast as well for drawing features.

That’s my clay face up there and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out especially since I’m not accustomed to working with clay. It did remind me why I don’t work with clay – too messy! Things that get my hands dirty just aren’t my thing, but I wanted the end product enough to endure it.

Doing this did show me where my knowledge of facial anatomy needs work. Having to build it from scratch is a remarkable test of understanding. The nose and chin are purposefully exaggerated for character, the eyes turned out nicely, and the mouth could be more refined.

I’ll probably make another one or two of these to have on hand for models as well as giving me the chance to explore facial structure. No time yet to draw and paint from it but, look for artwork based on the clay face in future posts.