2.20.2017

Free Triangle Watercolor Print + Cards
I'm here with another free art print to share with you! When I opened up the latest design bundle from Design Cuts, I was immediately drawn to these watercolor textures. They had to be used, and I came up with this clean and minimal print. Sometimes the best design is when there's just a little less. This time I've also included a set of note cards you can print + write some kind words in. With the state of everything in the world lately, some kind words are appreciated even more.
Free Triangle Watercolor Print + Cards

 Download the Free Triangle Watercolor Print + Cards HERE


The triangle elements I used in these cards are just part of the amazing design bundle available from Design Cuts this month. The Inspiring Artistic Design Collection is full of 29 amazing products that are awesome for creating your own designs. This bundle is such a great value, and has so many lovely goodies to work with! You can see everything included in the bundle below:

Free Triangle Watercolor Print + Cards

2.16.2017

10 Playful Brush Fonts - Fox + Hazel
Here are some fun + playful brush fonts that I'm really into these days! I also like that they aren't all script fonts, because sometimes a girl needs a good serif typeface too. These are all super versatile and add a fun handmade feel to your projects.
10 Playful Brush Fonts - Fox + Hazel
Emerald // Sofia // Mix Redux // Sea Salt // Something Wild // Lazy Fox  

I'm super into the Kosmos and Sofia fonts! They're both irregular and have a great painterly feel to them. I already have some projects in mind that they are going to be a great fit for.

Get the graphics used in this post here:
10 Playful Brush Fonts - Fox + Hazel



2.13.2017

Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
If you're on Instagram or Pinterest and follow any hand lettering/calligraphy accounts, then you know that foiling is all the rage right now. It looks SO satisfying doesn't it? I'm not much of a calligraphy buff, but once I saw this stuff I immediately wanted to use it in my art journaling pages. 

Just after Christmas I decided to cave and get myself some foiling supplies to experiment with. I picked up the Therm O Web Deco Foil Adhesive Pen, Adhesive Liquid  and 4 different color of foils: gold, silver, rose gold and black. I picked these because they are neutrals that I know I will get the most use out of.
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
I decided to try some drawings to use as embellishments in some future pages. Before I go any further, I will note that the pen is supposed to be used with a laminator in order to adhere the foil to where the adhesive is. I didn't realize this when I bought the pen, and frankly as soon as I read it on the package I was immediately going "UGH." Because pulling out my laminator is a pain in the butt. However, the package also says that you can use a die cutting machine like a Big Shot or Cuttlebug too. Which means that the heat isn't a requirement to foil - you simple need pressure to get it to adhere. I'm sure the heat from a laminator helps too, but it seems like they're utilizing the rollers to apply pressure mostly. SO, instead of having to pull out a machine I figured I could do the same if I used a paint brayer on a hard surface. Genius! 

After I had written with the pen and let it dry for a minute, I just laid the foil sheet on top and used my paint brayer to firmly press the foil on. 
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
As you can see, it worked pretty good! My edges are not nearly as crisp as they would be if I used a laminator, but I'm okay with the finished result. I lean to the side of grunge and imperfect when it comes to my work. Also, I will happily take it if it means avoiding pulling out my laminator whenever I want to use the adhesive pen!

Next I tried making some embellishments using the Adhesive Liquid. This worked a lot better, which makes sense since the liquid adhesive is meant to be used without a laminator. It can also be used on fabrics, wood, etc so the possibilities are greater.
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
You do have to let the adhesive dry for a while before applying the foil. When it's dry it's clear and tacky for the foil to stick to. The bottle says 1-2 hours, but I found that after 20-30 min on paper that the adhesive was dry enough to go ahead. I'm sure the drying time is dependent on how porous your material is and how humid your location is.
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art JournalingWays to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
Look at all that shiny goodness! It's soooo satisfying!

After all that, I decided to try the foil directly on to some art journal pages. I used the adhesive liquid and brushed it on with a paintbrush. Unlike the adhesive pen, the liquid just requires you to rub the foil sheet over top of the dried adhesive

My first attempt didn't go as well as I hoped.
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art JournalingWays to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
I didn't let the adhesive dry long enough, and I also didn't apply it thick enough either. Paper and paint are absorbent, so I found that I needed to apply a thicker layer of adhesive for it not get completely soaked into the paper. The paper was also really textured so the foil only stuck to the high spots where there was more pressure from rubbing. It does give a really cool grungy/distressed vibe, which I like! But I wanted more of a brush stroke texture on the page. I tried it again on a page with less texture.

My second go was a lot more successful!
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art JournalingWays to Use Foil Printing in Art JournalingWays to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
All dat shiny goodness! I can't stop now - I am obsessed with adding foil to my pages. My subconscious rule of thumb is that no page is complete until there is something metallic or shiny on there (it's like a sickness.) So foiling totally appeals to my love of metallics and shiny stuff.

If you're a letterer, then once you've used up the foil sheets they end up in the trash. However, I found that after using them on the paintbrush strokes, it left an inverted image in the foil sheet itself. That sheet was begging to be cut up and used as collage fodder for more pages! So you can get double use out of your foiling supplies by re-purposing the used sheets in other pages. Here's the start of one:
Ways to Use Foil Printing in Art JournalingWays to Use Foil Printing in Art Journaling
I'm hoping to play around some more and find some new ways to incorporate foiling into my art journal pages. Every page will be decked out in shiny goodness! All the foil gods will shine down on me and illuminate my pages with glorious metallics. Too much? ;)


2.10.2017

You can find some pretty cool art supplies in unexpected places, and I love exploring unconventional materials to use in my art journal and mixed media pieces. The hardware store isn't the first place you think of when you think "art supplies", but I've found some cool materials there that are unique on their own or dupes for art supplies. Using items outside their original purpose can be equally challenging and rewarding, especially when the end result creates a fun new outcome.

I've rounded up some materials that you can get at your local hardware store or online, and are really reasonable in price. Part of trying new materials is also the affordability factor - it's scary to try new expensive mediums and materials! Exploring the hardware store can open you up to new ideas that won't stretch your wallet too much. Get ready for some photos cause there's a LOT.

1. Washers, bolts, nuts, screws, etc.

These are typically really cheap (from a few cents to maybe $2 tops) and they can be used to create interesting marks and patterns in your work. I had picked them up originally thinking they would make for cool stamps, but since they're metal they don't transfer a solid image. But if you like a distressed/grungy effect, they leave some unique marks on your page that can add texture. I used the screw heads and nuts to create circle marks on these pages below. You could get creative and try a whole bunch for just a few bucks. 

2. Tapes: masking, aluminum ducting, and drywall joint.

All of these tapes are really versatile in creating texture, layers and can be used as elements in a page. I really like using masking tape and aluminum ducting tape in my backgrounds to create texture before going over with paint.

Drywall joint tape is a great alternative to scrapbook mesh, and can be used for texture as well as stenciling!
In this page I've used a variety of materials to create a really textured background. I used both masking tape to get the wrinkled effect at the bottom, as well as the drywall tape at the top for the mesh effect. Super cool!
Here I used the aluminum tape to add some elements to my page. After I added them I went back with an embossing stylus and carved in some patterns to add more detail. I also used it in another page to create some shapes along the bottom to add a metal element to the page!

3. Drywall putty + putty knife

This was actually my husband's idea after he saw me using modeling paste on some pages. using drywall putty/spackle can be a great alternative if you don't have modeling paste and can't get your hands on any. There are several different types and they all vary in their hardness and water solubility. The container I grabbed was under $3 and can be washed off with water. It worked awesome as a modeling paste substitute, and was soft enough to carve into once it was dry. I used in the spread below to create the circles.
I will note that the putty I picked up was quite soft even when fully dried, so it was easy to carve into but also had a tendency to wear or sand off if it rubbed against another page. This was probably due to picking the water soluble putty. I solved this by sealing it with some matte medium so it wouldn't rub off. You can also see that I used that drywall tape as a stencil for texture here too!

The putty knife can be a fun alternative to palette knifes and come in larger sizes so you can cover a page more quickly, and cover more of a stencil in one pass. I used it here to create a textured background before painting over it.

4 + 5. Shelf liner + sand paper

This small chunk of shelf liner came courtesy of my husband's toolbox, as well as the sanding block haha. Both of these materials can be used as stamps to create texture on your pages. The shelf liner could also serve as a stencil. I also used the sanding block to sand down some drywall putty I used. I put the putty through a stencil, then painted over it, and used the sand paper to sand off some of the edges and reveal the putty underneath. It can also be used to distress the edges of your paper if you use a rougher grit.

6. Spray Paint

Now, you can buy spray paint at the art store made by art brands. However, some of us don't want to pay that much for paint or don't have easy access to a craft/arts store. Your local hardware store has an entire aisle of paints that come in everything from metallics to neons. I say take advantage of it! You can also raid your garage for anything that is from a leftover project, like I totally did.

You can create some really cool backgrounds by layering paint, creating splatters, masking shapes first and by drawing in the wet paint.
 I used black, white and blue spray paint to make the background in this spread. I love the airbrushed texteure with the drips and splatters. It was really fun to get messy and layer them on!
The page on the left I used gold spray paint over an old page I hated, but wanted to keep the words. I used some cardstock circles to mask over the words and put down a thick layer of paint. While it was still wet, I used the end of my paint brush to scribble in it.

7. Wood Veneer Tape

This was a super fun material I happened on while we were doing some work in our basement. It is really thin wood veneer with an adhesive backing on it. It's meant for finishing the edges of tables, counter tops, etc. You can find it in all kinds of woods and finishes, so the possibilities are endless. The wood veneer tape typically has heat activated adhesive on the back, so I heated it up with my heat tool and stuck it down on the page. 
It can also be used to create texture on a background before going over it in paint. I used it back in the page under the tapes! Another cool way you could use it would be as a label or mount for words you wanted to add to your pages. Need to write that down so I can give it a go!

8. Copper Wire

This was another idea of my husband's, that smart guy! Using copper wire to create elements to add to a page! The wire I have here is actually audio speaker wire. I just stripped the coat off the wire, and in it is a bunch of smaller copper wires twisted together. Just separate them & you have copper wire. Wire comes in different gauges, so I recommend just taking a close look at the wire when you buy it at the store. The cool part is that you buy wire by the foot, so you can just buy 1 foot of it and depending on how many wires are inside you can get up to 20 feet of really thin flexible copper wire to work with!

You want the thinnest you can find because it will be the most flexible and easiest to work with. Here I've used it to create a word and sealed it with matte gel medium, and also as the stems in this flower bouquet.

The hardware store can be another extension of the art store if you start looking at items differently. Once you start, you'll be looking at everything and wondering if it would work in an art journal page! Do you have any other unconventional art supplies you like to use? Shout them out in the comments below - I'm always keen to try new materials!