Saturday, July 7, 2012

Skethchbook Makeover

Claude Monet once said that "Color is my day long obsession, joy and torment." Like Monet, I love color, it brings me joy. In fact one could say that I am obsessed with color, especially blue and purple. My gardens are filled with color and I spend a lot of time enjoying the symphony of color that my landscaping has created. Color inspires me so it is no coincidence that I chose a room with a direct view of my gardens for my studio.

Lately I have been giving the boring, mundane items in my studio a "face lift". Why can't functional items be colorful and inspiring? After reading Doodles Unleashed: Mixed Media Techniques For Doodling, Mark-Making & Lettering by Traci Bautista I decided to give my dull, boring sketchbook cover a make over. I was attracted to this book by it's bright cover and after leafing through the book I couldn't put it back on the shelf and walk away. I was inspired to try some of the projects. After reading the book I made some sketches and decided to follow Traci's instructions (she walks you step by step through the project) to turn my sketch into a cover for my new sketchbook. This is a book that everyone can use, even if you think that you can't draw or draw well. If after reading this book you are still convinced that you can't draw, downloads of Traci's images can be purchased from her website (

Here's the work in progress!

Finished Sketchbook Cover

I had a lot of fun creating this sketchbook cover using Traci Baustista's images as inspiration for my drawing. This is a very forgiving project, you can't make a mistake. If you are looking for a fun project, then pick up a copy of Doodles Unleashed and let your creativity flow.

Directions for Sketchbook Face Lift:

Doodles Unleashed: Mixed-Media Techniques For Doodling Mark-Making & Lettering by Traci Bautista

Hardbound sketchbook


Saral transfer paper

Modge Podge

Acrylic Paints

1.  Draw an image on drawing paper using a No. 2 pencil.

2.  Cover the sketchbook with gesso and let it dry. Apply a second coat and let it dry.

3. Using the techniques in Doodles Unleashed paint the background using acrylic paint. Set aside to dry.

4.  Transfer your drawing onto the cover of the sketchbook using Saral transfer paper. Again using the techniques described in Doodles Unleashed paint the image and set aside to dry. I outlined my finished image in black to enhance it.

5.  Seal the painted cover of the sketchbook with a light coat of Modge Podge and let it dry.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Afternoon in Paris Clipboard

I'm finally back in my studio again. I was on vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC. Myrtle Beach was great, the weather was beautiful and the beach was relaxing. It was the perfect vacation and then three days before the end of the vacation I came down with Strep Throat and a 102 degree F. fever. C'est domage! That's what it's like to be me!

Now that I'm back in my studio the first thing that I did was to finish a project that I started in March. The Afternoon in Paris clipboard is based on a project in Julie Nuttig's book Collage Couture. I came across this book while browsing in the bookstore. The Collage Couture is beautifully done- the pictures are inspiring and there is a step by step guide to completing projects shown in the book. I was inspired by the Japanese Garden clipboard. I could use a clipboard in my studio to corral stray notes. Just because clipboards are functional items why do they have to be plain and boring? For my project I chose a French theme (of course). I covered the clipboard in printed paper using the instructions on page 106 of the book. I drew a fashion figure using the instructions on page 10 of the book and added clothing. Next I used the Cricut to cut out the Eiffel Tower and the poodle. I added an inspirational quote and a butterfly to complete the clipboard.

Directions for Afternoon In Paris Clipboard:

Collage Couture by Julie Nuttig (available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble)
Lucite clipboard (available at Walmart)
K&Company Sera Sera Paper Pad- I used gold  and orange print paper and a scrap of blue print
K&Company Abrainna Paper Pad- blue and purple print paper- for figure's dress
Mod Podge
Foam brush
Butterfly- I used the Recollections gossamer butterfly from Michaels
Cricut cartridges- Summer in Paris and Paper Pups
White, gray, parchment, brown (for the figure's hair) and pale pink card stock
Tim Holtz Tea Dye and Tattered Rose distress ink
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist- Pearl, Cherry Blossom, Raven
Black Sharpie
Narrow blue ribbon
Recollections self stick gold beads
Piece of pink tulle
Decorative edge scissors

1.   Tear gold and orange print paper in pieces and apply to the clipboard following the directions on pages 106 and 107 of the book.

2.   Draw a fashion figure on tracing paper according to the instructions on page 6 in the book. Draw the clothing and the hair as directed in the book. I cut my figure out of news print. I tied a piece of pink tulle around the figure's waist as a belt.

3.  Cut a 6 1/2 inch Eiffel Tower out of pale pink card stock using the Cricut Summer in Paris cartridge.
Apply Tattered Rose distress ink randomly over the tower. Next apply Tea Dye distress ink around the bottom, top and sides of the tower. Lightly spray the tower with Cherry Blossom Glimmer Mist and let it dry. Lightly spray the tower with Raven Glimmer Mist and let it dry.

4.   Using the Cricut Paper Pups cartridge cut a poodle at 1 3/4 inches out of gray card stock. Next press the black out key and cut the poodle out of white card stock. Assemble the poodle and lightly spray with Pearl Glimmer Mist and set aside to dry. Use the Sharpie to color the poodle's nose and eye.

5.   Type the quote: Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything. -Eugene Delacroix and print it on parchment card stock using the font and size of your choice. Cut the quote out using decorative scissors. Glue the quote on to a small piece of blue patterned card stock.

6.   Position the Eiffel Tower to the left hand side of the clipboard and glue in place using Modge Podge. Position the fashion figure in the center of the clipboard and glue in place using Modge Podge. Glue the quote to the right of the fashion figure's head. Glue the poodle to the right of the fashion figure's foot. Cut a piece of narrow blue ribbon and loop in around the figure's wrist and attach the other end behind the poodle. Place a small gold bead self stick bead around the wrist loop and at the top of the leash.

7.   Glue the butterfly to the clip. Cover the entire clipboard with a coat of Modge Podge to seal it.