Thursday is a Biggie
Creative Therapy: Be Unique

Art Journal Every Day: From Magazine to Art Journal Page!

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150 I did something good for my soul (and my studio space) this week.  I weeded out my stash just a bit and gave away two big cardboard boxes full of stuff.  And you know, it felt so good to get it out of my space and send it off to two happy homes.  I do keep a lot of stuff for "someday" but at a certain point I find the clutter overwhelming rather than inspiring.  It was so wonderful to finally see the surface of my desk that I forced my husband to come in and admire it.  (I think he thought I was crazy.) 

On a related note, I attended a three day crop this past weekend and found that I produced more (and liked the stuff I made more) with fewer supplies at my fingertips.  Hmmmmm...!  Maybe a lesson to learn?

Someone who does so much with so little is today's guest, Sandra van der Geest!  You'll be amazed that she's only been art journaling for a few months!

Mixed Media Collage:
From Magazine to Art Journal Page!

Hello to you all from the little space on earth called the Netherlands!

This is Sandra van der Geest, your guest blogger for today.  I’m so honored Julie asked me to create a tutorial for you all on how I create my collaged journal pages.

A little bit about me before we get started? Ok! Well, I’m a 39-year-old SAHM of three adorable kids and married to the sweetest guy ever.  At the moments when I don’t have to take care of the kids or the household chores I create: scrapbooking (traditional, digital and hybrid), ATC’s, card making, zentangles, mini albums and art journaling!

It wasn’t until Julie had her Art Journaling Week in August last year that I started art journaling. Inspired by her tips, techniques, tutorials and the links she provided I discovered all about art journaling. Since that time I learned so much about creating backgrounds, texture, journaling, tools, etc. and I’m still learning!

One of the things I discovered is that I like to create new realities on my pages. A new reality that makes you look twice and wonder about what you see. Like this one:

Layout Imagine
You are probably thinking: Is she really floating on a sofa, under water, with a turtle pet on a leash??
 I cut off the legs of the sofa, gave her a new head and glasses. Her eyes are the eyes of an owl. On the original picture she was holding a horse on a leash but I replaced it by a turtle. By cutting out the woman on the sofa from the original background, which was somewhere in a garden, I could do with it what I wanted.

 I try to create new images of people by combining bodies, faces, legs and all sorts of other daily things. I love to make my new "friends" slightly out of proportion with a head that is too big or legs that are too short or too long. It is a lot of fun playing with all these images and I often find myself giggling about it (...which makes my hubby look up with a frown on his face, wondering if I’m ok…I think you get the picture...)!  I never know what my page is going to look like until I have put my new image together. That is also the moment when I think of the words or quote I would like to add.

Unfortunately I don’t have a studio or some corner in the house where I can create. My workspace is the dining table. All my stash is stored in some cupboards, behind doors.  A big advantage is that I have enough space to spread out all my supplies and tools. And I can overlook the living room and be part of the family! Of course I would love to lock myself up in a scraproom sometimes with a big sign saying "KEEP OUT!" on the door. I would love to be able to walk away and leave all my things on my desk instead of cleaning it up each time but hey…one has got to have a dream, right?

This is what my dining table looks like when I art journal:

Well, let’s start at the beginning of one of my art journal pages.

My art journal is an 8.5 by 11 inch spiral bound sketchbook. Mostly I glue two pages together to create a firm page. I often spend an afternoon creating several backgrounds.  I cover my table with a big piece of plastic (...after all…it is still the dining table...), get all my paint and sprays, stamps, inkpads, and my heating tool and start painting. My three-year-old daughter Laura loves to join in the fun too! She gets her own plate with a drop of every color of paint I have in my stash, some paintbrushes (although she loves to paint with her fingers), Mommy’s foam stamps, and lots of paper.

And when I'm ready to do a collaged journal page I simply choose which background suits the best.

For today’s page I started with this background. I dripped some yellow, green and turquoise paint onto my page and scraped it across my page with an old credit card. Be careful not to scrape too much because all the paint will blend and it will be just one color on your page! 

When the paint was dry I added some texture with stamps. I stamped along the edges with a brick stamp, but you can use any stamp you like, of course. Script stamps are perfect for this too! With chalk ink and some punchinella (sequin waste) I stamped the dots on my page. I often use bubble wrap as a stamp, which also  gives some great texture. I finished my background by dipping  the edge of the creditcard in some white acrylic paint and painted the white stripes..

The next step is going through all my magazine cut-outs to create a new image.

I use glossy magazines about fashion, nature or living, all sorts of  brochures, TV guides, advertisements…everything with pictures in it!

Just like I create my backgrounds with my youngest daughter joining me, I can also spend an afternoon going through my big pile of magazines together with her. She gets her own magazine and scissors while I’m tearing and cutting in my magazines. I tear or cut out all the images which I think I can use. I also cut out all the letters which I use for my titles. I have these letters sorted in boxes…another in-between chore, for example when I’m watching TV. I store the big images in a big box. The smaller images like faces,  furniture, flowers, animals etc. are stored in smaller boxes. I have a box for patterns and prints too.

Workspace detail
The fun part of creating these new images is that anything is possible! Because I have cut out the images in an earlier stage I have taken them out of their original context. This helps me to see them in a different way! I love thinking out of the box. For example, I use lamps as dresses, I replace faces and legs, I use a pan or a basket as headgear…it all depends on the images in front of me. I just go with the flow and let the images guide me.

These are the images I used for today’s page:

Cut out parts
I used the tea cup to create a footbath by making a small incision, so I could slide her feet in it. I didn’t want to use the red chair so I cut it off:

Building Image
When I have collected all the parts of my new image I glue them on my background:

Image before paint markers
I used the hand to create a new "chair" and I love the way how it symbolizes the quote that I ended up using on the page.  The pearl necklaces, found in a jewelry ad, became part of the border. I had cut out the curtain earlier because I loved the color and the pattern but now it was perfect to use on this page. The white printed lace..ditto!

I use Tacky Glue to glue down my images because it doesn’t wrinkle (once it is dry) and I can adjust my cut out piece perfectly by shoving it in place. (Just recently I have discovered Mod Podge, which would probably work well for this technique too, although I haven’t tried it in my art journal yet.)
And then comes another fun part, what I call the "Big Paint Marker Attack."    

Mostly I use black and white paint markers, sometimes I add some color.

I start by tracing the image. This way all the separate parts will become one. It looks more like one image instead of a broken one. I trace around the edges of my page and create borders. I love to use blocked lines on the top and bottom of my pages.  I draw new haircuts and big eyelashes, add stripes, dots or text to clothes or backgrounds.

This is what my page looked like when I laid down my markers for the first time:

Layout halfway
I always ask my husband what he thinks of it when I’m working on a page: Do you miss something? Is it finished? Most of the time he says what I already was thinking and I appreciate him very much for that! (Sometimes he thinks completely different and then I say: Too bad! I’m still gonna do it my way!) When I asked his opinion about this page he said: I want to see more hair and more black and white. And I agreed! So I picked up my markers again, added the dots on her dress, the text on the tea cup and gave her a little bit more hair. At last I added the quote. Here is the finished page:

Final layout
Some more examples?

Hey Santa Let s Party
This woman was originally sitting on a chair.  I replaced the chair with a swing. I gave her a new head and a hat like Santa. In the original picture she was holding a mirror. I replaced the mirror with a glass of wine.  The swan was already on her lap…I just doodled some patterns on it. And I gave the kitten a lovely rose to chew on.  Later on, I scanned my page and had it printed as a postcard, which I sent to all my family and friends for Christmas!

Another one:

Flying in my dreams
The background is a mix of several colors of Glimmer Mist. In a weekly women’s magazine (not an expensive glossy) I found this picture of a woman lying in a hanging chair. I cut off the chains of the chair, gave her a new head and a new haircut, and a flower in her hand. By drawing and painting all the bubbles around her it looks like she is floating.

I don’t always change an image. Sometimes I use the image like it originally is, like on this page:

Don t tell me
I added some colors to the eyes, nails and lips with Sakura Glaze pens. I painted her hair with some black acrylic paint and added the quote.

Or like this one:

The most important relationship
I painted the background with red acrylic paint. I stamped a pattern with a piece of structured wallpaper and gold acrylic paint. I added the picture of the Buddha and the quote. The "Big Paint Marker Attack" did the rest!

All these pages are just a part of my creative journey. I’m not a writer so you won’t find much journaling on my pages. I love using quotes or just a few words to express my feelings.

In her blog post of January 28th Julie divided art journalers into five categories:

  1. painty - love to splash paint and mist around and can't get enough gesso
  2. wordy - less of an art-er and more of a journaler and storyteller
  3. collage-ish - love patterned paper, magazine pages, and decoupage medium
  4. scrapbook-ish - used to using photos when you tell your stories
  5. doodler - can't stay away from the pens and markers

I think these mixed media collages works for all types!  Check out my prompts for each kind of art journaler:

  1. If you’re painty: You probably have lots of fun already creating your backgrounds. Why not take a big magazine cut-out and paint all over it?
  2. If you’re wordy: Why not fill a simple collaged page with your story?
  3. If you’re collage-ish: You probably have lots of cut-outs already.  Just start mixing them all up!
  4. If you’re scrapbook-ish: Why not use your own pictures instead of magazine cut-outs?
  5. If you’re a doodler: Why not cover a simple collaged page with your doodles?

Have fun!

Avatar (The picture is about two years old but I love it so much because it is symbolic to me. The original is a picture of me and my husband, with his arm around my shoulders. I cut out the part of me to use as my avatar on my blog and messageboards, but in my eyes he is still there on the background, supporting me where ever he can!)

A little bit about me:

I'm 39-years-old, married to Michael and stay-at-home-mother of three kids. We live in a small town in The Netherlands.

I have always been creative. When I was young I loved to draw, paint and collage a lot. My mom taught me how to knit and to crochet when I was a little girl, which was very difficult for her since I am left-handed and she was right-handed. I made my own clothes and home deco when I was younger. I have always decorated my own photo albums with all the things I collected during my holidays, like tickets and packaging etc. In 2004 I found out that my creative outlet had a name, which was scrapbooking and I'm stuck to scrapbooking since then.

In 2009 I learned more and more about Photoshop and editing my pictures. This lead me to digital scrapbooking and as a logical step further to hybrid scrapbooking. In 2010 I fell in love with art journaling when Julie had her Art Journaling Week. I love to do collage and paint in my art journaling which brings me back to where it all began in my youth...!

My blog:


P.S. (This is Julie) I've got a new guest post up over at the Gauche Alchemy blog!