Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Round Alphabeth Tags to Print

I had fun cutting the printable labels (see post here: ) and thought about other items that I could design and print out to us in the scrappy journal I am planning to make.
Pretty soon the idea of 'something round' came up. And since I wanted to punch it out with my 1.5 " puncher, I knew the size to start with.

I wanted to add numbers to the circles, but thought it would be fun to have the complete alphabeth in circles. I started to work out the idea in CorelDraw but switched quickly to Photoshop.
The idea was simple: a scalloped border, a border inside and a quirky font to use as letters.
Most of the time was spent adding and adjusting the size of the individual characters within the circles and placing them neatly in rows in 2 files that could be printed on A4 size and Letter size paper.

I printed the tags on a yellowish cardstock. After printing, it was just a matter of turning the punch upside down and postioning the paper so that the tag would fit in.
If you don't have a puncher, cut them out with scissors. It might take a longer time, but it is worth the effort.

When the tags were punched out, I had these strips of paper with these huge circles - just like a stencil.
This inspired me to tape the strips back together and brushing a layer of acrylic paint on both sides: to strengthen the stencil.
I love it when one idea evolves into another new idea.
The files are free for you to use in your personal and commercial projects. However, you can't sell the tags or claim them as your own.
Please do not share the files - you may mention this post on your own blog though for your readers to download the files for themselves.

Here is the download link on

You don't need an account to download this file. Press the button to download this file, a count down will start - ignore all the ads. After the countdown another download button will appear. Press this one to start downloading.

OK, the next idea I came up with is printable journalers and ledgers.
Do you have any special requests for printables? Just leave a comment with your ideas!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

More from the Red Book

The last pages of the Little Red Book have been filled but I had not uploaded these yet. This is a simple page with a strong message. I was reminded of the statement that Dr. Phil made: no matter how flat you make the pancake, there are always two sides.
Yes, there are always two sides of a story. So when you have heard one side, don't judge untill you have heard the other side as well - you might be surprised when you hear the whole and true story.

I used a self portrait that I combined with watercolour paintings in Photoshop. The text was found in a magazine. The background was acrylic paint and I added pencils to get more texture, but this is not visible in the picture.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sharing My Printable Labels for Journals

I am collecting materials to make a sort of 'scrappy' kind of art journal. I will be using left over papers, magazine pages and so on for the pages and bind these together. Then I would like to add small images and 'thingies' to liven it up a bit.
I was thinking of these red classic labels, but since I live too far away from the city, and was too lazy to search te internet to order them online, I decided to make my own labels.

It took some dabbling in Corel Draw (similar to Adobe Illustrator) to make an A4 sheet (almost same size as Letter size) with 2 x 9 different labels. Beside using black and red, I also made a blue and green version.
Some I printed on a sticker sheet, the green version was printed on a creme paper.

I thought it would be fun to share these label with you. You can download them in one zipped file from This is the download link:

You are free to print as many as you like. But please do not redistribute them or claim them as your own. Thanks! Love to hear what you will be doing with these labels. Have fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Guide Book: Anytime, Anything

Another spread that I made last week in my Little Guide Book. This idea, the title, came up when last week something happened which I did not expected. I was glad with the change that it caused, Up untill then I felt that everything was going in the same direction, but now some things seem to be heading into a different and better direction.

As usual I used chipboard letters to trace the title and stamped the rest of it. Journaling was written with the Tria Markers and Portfolio crayons were used to colour the edges of the pages.
It turns out that in this book, it is not so much about art after all. It is the words that count. I love to go through this book and read what I have written so far, all these little guiding words and phrases begin to mean a lot to me. Comforting, encouraging and always uplifting. This is definitly a different kind of art journal that I have ever made.

There are still 4 empty spreads left. In the beginning I was so eager with filling the pages, now I have the feeling that I should be a bit selective about what I want to put into these last precious pages. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Little Guide Book: Speak Up

The Little Guide Book still has some empty spreads left. I would like to fill the book and start working on the cover. Complete the book, complete this project and enjoy the content. But on the other end, I don't want to rush and put things in the book I might regret later, or things that are not so real and authentic at this moment in my life. I love the sincerity of this book, it is becoming more valueable with every spread that I am making. Not just for this year, but probably for many years to come.
So I need to be more patient and wait to see what comes up and inspires me to fill these last pages.

This spread is about me daring to speak up, letting my voice be heard. Stop hiding in this little corner of life and silencing myself.
There is no need to keep up the silence. I do have a voice. I do have the right to speak up and defend myself. And it is never too late to start.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Many Colours Do You Need?

Like I wrote in my previous post, a change of the weather makes me change the art medium I am working (read doodling) with. So with some pretty good weather here in Holland, I took out my watercolour box and the tins with the watercolour crayons and watercolour pencils as well.

The watercolour box is wonderful, but the colours are so sensible and serious. And with the sun out, you really want sunny and different colours to work with. I got quickly bored with the lack of reds in the watercolour box, so I grabbed the crayons which needed a bit of sharpening first.
With a pencil sharpener I started with some fun red colours and when the shavings fell on my table, I realised that it would be a pity to just throw them away.

So I took out an empty plastic palette and collected the shavings. I added a few drops of water and let it mix together.
My intention was to let the 'paint' dry up in the pallette and use it like the watercolour box: just brush some water over it and you can paint away. This way, the colours of the crayons would be as easy to use as the watercolours in the box - which means: loads of different colours!

Always available, easy to store, easy to use. Just my kind of thing.

What I did learn was that you only have to use one single tiny drop. It took several days for the shavings to dry up in the pallete!

Watercolour crayons are a bit waxy. The medium that binds the pigment together is different than the one that is used in watercolour pans (arabic gum).This would explain the drying time in the palette. I did not notice a different drying time when actually painting on paper from this self made pallette.

Inspired by all these reds, pinks and purples I thought it would be nice to make tags with all the colours that I have to take with me to an art store to compare colours.
The funny part was, that when I was making these tags, that I discovered that I really had no need to go to the art store anymore now, I have way too many colours now...

What a pity! No art-store-visit-excuse anymore!
Well, maybe I can use that time to use all those colours instead!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Change of Season - Change of (he)Art?

I read about the GPP Street Team on TJ's blog at Tales from Studio Mailbox. Michelle Ward sets out a challenge every month on her blog and invites everyone to play along. I hopped over last week and found the latest challenge: Seasonal Wardrobe.

And this is the question:
When seasons change and you change your wardrobe, do you also change your creative habits?

Oh yes I do! Ever since the warm and bright days of May, I want to go outside and just soak up every ray of sunlight that there is. But on the other hand, I want to paint and work in my books as well.
So my wish is to take out a sketchbook and go outside and just do some doodling, not even serious artwork. Just playing.

And there is a change in using materials. I am a of acrylic-paint-kind-of-girl But one thing that does not go well with warmth and sun, is acrylic paints.
It quickly forms a skin first and then start to dry everything under it. It is frustrating to work with it outside and I tend to throw away too much paint.

So, when the sun comes out I like to dig up the water colours again. And to be honest, watercolours are just not really something for me. I have the feeling that I can't express myself that well with these soft transparant colours. And still, every year when summer approaches I think that this summer is the year that I really learn to use them properly.

And, I feel more like doodling and doing small and simple things, like sketching in a small book. Or working on loose pages.

And instead of spending lots of time behind the computer, I just take notebooks everywhere and write out new ideas that come up. The change of seasons certainly brings me more inspiration.
I even started to change the appearance of my blog since spring arrived. I changed the black background to a fresh white, posted bigger images (just for a while) and recently changed te font too. And I am full of ideas to make more changes.

So I guess that my 'Seasonal Wardrobe' is a change of working in medium, a lighter and brighter way of working, and getting too much ideas that I really have to write down in notebooks!  

And how about you? Do you change just the clothes that you wear? Or do you change the way you work, or the colours that you work with?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Overview of Glue Art Journal

I was cleaning up some stuff and came across this little art journal that I made over a year ago. It is only one single signature and sewn it together with a pamphlet stitch.
The cover was sewn in together with the pages, and I used a heavy watercolour paper for this.

This journal is a bit different than the others that I made. Except for one page, I stuck to just scraps of paper and some journaling. In Holland we have this magazine Flow which has lots of eyecandy, and I just tore of part of pages to glue into the journal. I also used images from Happinez as 'focal' images.
All I had to do then, was to add my journaling. I prefer to use the old Pantone Tria Markers for that.

So I only used paper, glue and markers. Not my normal way of working. It felt restricted in some way because I could only use the scraps of paper and stayed away from my favorite gesso and acrylic paints! OK, I cheated by painting the covers with watered down acrylics - it is hard to kick a habit. :-)
I am not sure if I like to make another book like this. Though I might do it again, just to challenge myself a bit!

Instead of putting the pictures on the blog, I decided that I needed a video. I used my photographs and compiled these in the video. I am still working out how to work with the software. Especially setting the size and exporting it to the right file format is something I have not found out yet. Trying to convert it to a YouTube video made the software crash. Vimeo made it all easier though!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Little Guide Book: Thoughts

The mind is so powerful and creative. Thoughts will come and go. Too bad that often the most negative thoughts hang around much longer than the positive and uplifting kind of thoughts. And the longer they wander around in our mind, the more real they become.
And the question is: how real are these thoughts? Are they really true? Or are they made up?

It has been several months ago that I made this spread, I think it was back in February or so . This piece of advice was inspired by a YouTube video that I watched from Tolle Eckhart. It is funny since there is something about this man, how wise he is though, which annoys me immensly! But this is one lesson I would like to be reminded of.

Watered down acrylics were used for the background, which give it allmost a water colour look.  I added a row of cut out circles at the bottom of the spread. Used an ink pad to define the borders of the pages. With chip board letters I laid out my main title and used Tria Markers to trace and colour them.
I stamped the other text on a strip of painted scrappaper. Gesso was rubbed along the edges of the picture from a magazine and my own journaling on the page was written with the fine point of a Tria Marker.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Appreciate the Little Things in Life

I have no idea where this flower came from. I discovered it a few years ago back in the darker part of the garden. Since then it seeded itself along the shed to the doors of the shed. And despite me opening that door to get my bicycleout almost every day, it still keeps on flowering and seeding more little plants.

Mother Nature blessing me with little yellow poppies. Strong poppies. The one that comes back again and again each year despite the bad spot where it has to live.
A small miracle in my back yard.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Little Guide Book: Forward

Looking back in the past is a good way to learn from your mistakes. The problem is that if you keep looking back, chances are that you are tripping over your feet while walking away from that past.
I guess the solution is to stand still, glance backwards, take the time to evaluate what you have done and where is has brought you, and turn back to the future. The past is history and you can't change a bit about it anymore.

This spread is made in my Little Guide Book. An art journal with gentle and kind reminders of advice that I wrote for myself.
I still got 6 spreads that are empty. Only when I have filled these pages, I will finish the covers.

What piece of advice would you give to yourself? Or what kind of advice have you been given that you carry around with you?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Little Guide Book: Dream

More from the pages of the Little Guide Book. This spread is about dreams. The dreams you make up while you are awake.
In the past so many dreams have been shattered into pieces. To be honest: to many. I guess it is time to start making up dreams again. Fun, colourful and happy dreams.

The background is painted with watered down acrylics. Decorations are handdrawn with Tria Markers from Letraset and the word Dream has been filled with these markers as well.
Some of the text has been stamped on strips and glued in. Gesso was used to blend the pictures from magazines with the backgrounds.