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Printmaking Unleashed - Part I...


When I was asked by Traci Bautista to give her new book Printmaking Unleashed a test drive, I knew I would be inspired and had to say yes!  This book is filled with dozens of step-by-step printmaking ideas and I especially like that most include project ideas using the techniques. The ideas are inspiring and the pages are filled with colorful samples of Traci's artwork.

I chose to begin with the Fusion-Dyed Collage Skins.  I opted to keep mine fused with the page protector where I stitched it and added journal pages and a sari ribbon closure.  If you would like a chance to win the finished piece I created, see the drawing details at the bottom of the post.  For more detailed directions, see Traci's book or join her for Printmaking Unleashed LIVE Workshop.

I also created other backgrounds using a variety of techniques in this book and chose to scan them into my computer.  See my Part II post coming soon for details and an offering of free digital paper downloads.

Have a  blessed day!


Finished Journal

Dyed paper towels.

Paper towels glued to page protector.

Once dry, I stitched shapes with black thread.

Colorful sari ribbon was the perfect addition for trim around the journal and its closure.

I wrapped the sari around the edge of the journal and used a straight stitch to attach.

I chose several colors of sari to add more color to the finished journal.

I added little flower charms to the ends of the ribbon closure.

I used white paper with a combination of drafting paper for the inside pages.




Please leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win.  One entry per person.
Eligibility: US and International entrants welcome.
I am not responsible for item once it is shipped.
No dollar value is attached to this prize.
Giveaway ends on 8/14/14 at 5:00PM EST.
Winner will be announced on this blog post on 8/14/14 by 8:00PM EST.


The Documented Life Project - 8/9 (Week 33)...

The Documented Life Project

August 9, 2014 - Week 33 Challenge - Use your "under paper" in a creative way.

Visit the Art to the 5th blog for more inspiration. 






I gathered a piece of my painted "under paper" and an Instagram photo to start.


Next, I cut the "under paper" into strips and pleated them while I stitched them with black thread.

I found this old book paper sheet that I used when I was making stencil prints and liked that it would contrast with the bright colors in the "under paper" so I glued it to my main page with a glue stick.

I used a white pen to make doodle marks on the base page.

To finish, I used a glue stick to attach the paper strips and words!


My Instagram photo was printed via Groovebook.  Have you heard about it?  For $2.99 a month, you get a photobook filled with 100 photos you upload from your phone.  The quality isn't "super" but for 100 photos at $2.99 it is a bargain!  Use my code to receive your first book free: SMITH14268



You can find us HERE: The Art to the 5th Academy and Flickr - Instagram: #documentedlife  

Our Blogs: Lorraine Bell, Rae Missigman, Sandi Keene and Barbara Moore


Art Journal Love - On the Edge...




The Documented Life Project - 8/2 (Week 32)...


Art Journal Peek...


The Documented Life Project - 7/26 (Week 31)...


Studio Tips...

I found this three-tiered metal stand in an antiques store and thought it would be perfect for holding paint in my studio.  I love that I can see the paints and maximize space!

Have a  blessed day!



Art Journal Love - Bold...


Creating With StencilGirl...

I am so excited to have been asked by Mary Beth Shaw to create with StencilGirl stencils.  There are so many to choose from that I had a hard time selecting.  I chose Circle Play, Bubbles and Mimosa and have combined them with paper, paint and stitching while putting my creative touch to them.  The first project is a scalloped flap mail art envelope with a video tutorial. If you are new to mail art or would like to learn a host of new ideas for your own projects, I have an on-line workshop called You've Got Mail...Art! sure to inspire you on your journey.  The second project I am showing today is a journal page I created in my Documented Life Project Moleskine planner/journal.  I hope you enjoy them and find them inspiring!

Be sure to visit the Stencil Girl Blog for more details about this week's giveaways and discounts.

Have a  blessed day!









Blog Rewind...Got PUC?



I've been reminded this week about patience, understanding and compassion.  Patience eludes me most days.  I am certainly more patient now than I was in my youth, but have a long way to go before I can just relax and not get too stressed with circumstances beyond my control. 

By understanding I mean, "a state of cooperative or mutually tolerant relations between people."  This is often driven by expectations we impose on ourselves or on others.  It is easy to forget that everyone is not like "you" in all aspects of their lives.  Hence, it is easy to be impatient with people and relationships when others don't act as we think they should.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think lowering expectations is the answer, but being realistic is important.  Let me share this with you.  I was speaking with a friend this week and this was the topic of conversation.  She casually said to me, "Not everyone is an overachiever like you."  Hold on a minute...mmm?  Got me thinking. I needed to hear this.  She said it in a nice and loving way, but how true.  Everyone is not like me or you or the next person.

This moves me to the idea of compassion and this,  “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama

How true this is!  So, patience comes with understanding and with understanding comes compassion.  At least, that is how I see it today.   Got PUC?

Have a  blessed day!




The Documented Life Project - 7/5 (Week 28)...


Studio Tips...

My water jar sits on my work table so it is close at hand.  When I am using washi tape or other stickers I put the extras on it.  It reminds me of those walls you see in cities where the posters have been ripped and replaced over time.  I had planned to clean it up but I think I will keep adding to it!


I'm Working On This...

I was inspired this past weekend by a post on the Journal Girl blog!  Kira arrived at the studio to find a note left for her by an artist friend. It was on her art table and simply asked: "What are you working on?"  I am responding to that with this post.  I don't often "show" myself working in the studio deep in the process of creating. I am back to working more faithfully in my art journals.  It gives me a place to design and develop ideas for future projects and this day was a good day.  So, some insight...the things that aren't so obvious:

•I watched/listened to the maraton run of The Librarian while I worked.

•It was pouring rain all day and I felt super cozy inside the studio.

•I ate boiled peanut hummus for a snack.


What are you working on right now?


Favorite Art Supplies...

I am in love with the Basic Grey Rub On Roller Stylus Tool!  Forget the popscile stick!!  This tool makes it much easier to transfer rub-ons.

Have a  blessed day!




Create It • Mail It • Alter It Workshop

Create It • Mail It • Alter It Workshop

Pre-Registration is Now Open!*



Paint, doodle and stamp “art with an address”. Enjoy this creative New Twist on a Mail Art class with your instructors: Rae Missigman, Roben-Marie Smith, Lorraine Bell and Sandi Keene.

We will each demonstrate our step by step process for creating layered, detailed designs in our signature styles. Watch as we trade pieces via mail to reveal the process of using mail art to construct elements for your planner or art journal.

This is TWO classes in ONE with 17 videos, over 6 hours of instruction, technique and inspiration from 4 distinct points of view. Let us inspire you with ways to create a mailbox treasure sure to delight your recipient PLUS how to turn the mail art you receive into meaningful additions to your favorite project. You supply the postage, we will cover the fun!

Join us as we Create It • Mail It • Alter It!


*PRE-REGISTER NOW:   We will choose three pre-registered students of our newest class and rebate the class fee to them. Three students will take the class FREE! To qualify, pre-register for the class by Thursday evening 6/26 at 7:00 pm EST and we will randomly choose 3 winners who will be refunded their class fee!!