Friday, September 7, 2018


Art journaling is good for the soul. Picasso famously said: "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." When I want to regroup, relax, and re-center, I grab an art journal and start working. Sometimes I start a new page, sometimes I just make a background. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I collage. Sometimes I'm neat, most times I'm messy.
Some of the July 2018 Stencil Club designs from Gwen Lafluer
This journal page started when I received my very first shipment of stencils from the Stencil Club, an offering from StencilGirl. I was fortunate that my very first Stencil Club experience was with stencils designed by Gwen!

I started working on two pages side by side in my journal. The one on the right developed into a beautiful golden Tuscan Summer page. The left side was covered with old book pages and vintage handwriting printouts, then a repeating mandala stencil was added in white.
Two unfinished pages side by side in my journal. On the left, vintage papers and on the right, turmeric teabags.

The white medallions add a subtle lacy feel over the vintage paper collage.
I knew I would eventually use the unfinished page, but it sat in my journal unfinished for a few weeks until inspiration struck. 
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Pablo Picasso
Read more at:
The spark that got me working on the page again was "happy mail." I had just received two gifts: some beautiful paper hand printed by Gwen Lafluer using gold paint with a wood block, and some gorgeous papers and vintage images from fellow artist Darlene Campbell. I decided to try to use both items together.
The hand printed paper, vintage image and roll of washi tape with vintage images.
First, I carefully cut a strip of the black and gold paper. I placed it on the background with the vintage image to see how they looked. They seemed to work together: both had a feel of art nouveau and the black, gold and sepia tones were harmonious.
Step 1
Next, I edged the photo with sepia ink and decided on a tilted placement. I used a glue stick to adhere the papers to the background. Next, on the left bottom of the page, overlapping the photo, I added a bit of thick washi tape with vintage handwriting.
step 2
The page was shaping up, but it needed something horizontal, so I tried a strip of antique looking measuring tape from my washi stash.
step 3
The page still cried "more more more" to me so I added one of Gwen's art deco/art nouveau corner stencils with Emerald Creek gold embossing powder. I also used some sepia archival ink and white acrylic with  her ornamental petals stencil/mask design, which added more interest to the page, but still kept the vintage/sepia feel.

I felt it needed words so I used some small Dina Wakley stamps that said brave, strong, and worthy and placed them around the page. The words were strong, but they were small and got lost a bit.
I decided to use the same words, but make them larger.

step 4
To make the big words, I used one of Gwen's stencils called "not afraid to try" and adapted the letters to spell out the words I wanted. The e and g were a little tricky since they are not part of the stencil, but I fiddled with the o to create an e, and stenciled an a, then flipped the f to get the curve of a g.
For a finishing touch, I poked holes with my awl, then added three black mini brads.
detail of awl, holes and mini brads

When I look at the finished page, I feel calm and peaceful. The colors are soft and earthy, and the vintage image is serene. The words remind me of my inner strength, and that I am indeed brave, strong, and worthy.


ann barnes said...

Linda, this is gorgeous and was definitely meant to be! The stenciled layers look so amazing and one would never know that you rigged it to create the correct letters to use. I look at this page and see peaceful beauty and strength. xx

Gwen Lafleur said...

Gorgeous pages Linda, and I really love the way you used the stencil to create your own words!

Jackie PNeal said...

You truly are, Brave, Strong and Worthy!
Your spread is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit and the elements you chose are all perfect together Linda!
Let these words guide your soul today and have confidence in yourself,my friend!
Sending wishes,love and support!
Jackie xo

Kate Yetter said...

Beautiful journal page full of layers! Love these stencils that you used.

Lynda Shoup said...

You are indeed strong, Brave and Worthy!!! This page is beautiful. I really enjoyed seeing how you built it up. The elements really play nicely together.