Tribal Geometrics & ATCs

One of the great joys of working in mixed media is creating delicious layers of color and pattern. This month, I thought I would share with you a fun way to create the perfect layered background you can use for many different projects.
I am starting with a sheet of watercolor paper, 140 lb. I used painters tape to create a square grid on my paper and painted some watercolor squares. You can do circles or any type of watercolor wash. Remember to leave a little bit of white space here and there. It leaves places for your eyes to rest.
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Next, I laid Nat’s Kassel stencil over my watercolor paper and chose places to put the cube designs. Using my distress markers I drew in the design. The Tim Holtz water brush is the perfect tool for filling in the designs for a watercolor look.  I also did a little mark making with my watercolors. You will notice little black dots here and there.
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At this point I used my distress stains to add a few circular areas of color. Then I sprayed Dylusions ink spray through the Kassel stencil in a few select areas. Don’t forget to keep some white space! At this point I chose a special stencil as a focal point. Nat’s Batik stencil is the perfect one for this. I chose parts of the stencil I wanted to use and painted through with Dina Wakley Media paint in ruby and Dylusions black marble paint using a Tim Holtz mini blending tool.
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Once the black paint dried I went back over the designs with a Ranger Letter It Metallic Marker and a Uni Posca Pen. I also added some more art marks on the background with the white Posca Pen.
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Now that we have this yummy layered paper, what can we do with it? I turned mine into Artist Trading Cards. You can use your background for a paper flag, bookmarks, or an art journal page. You are only limited by your imagination. Won’t you join the creative squad this month and try our techniques?
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Quick & Easy Inchies

I just adore inchies, twinchies and artist trading cards. There is something very satisfying for me about these miniature pieces of artwork. I thought it would be fun to share with my readers a quick and easy method to getting bold, graphic inchies.

I am focusing on using distress inks for this tutorial.

I like to start with a large sheet of watercolor paper. I like the thickness and stability of this paper for layering. I chose a color of distress ink and a stencil and laid color sporadically, leaving white space.


Change up the color of your distress ink and stencil and repeat.  Do this multiple times until you have multiple colors and patterns layering over top of each other.


I like to add black to all of my inchies. I chose a bold, graphic stencil and applied it sparingly throughout.


Using my black fude ball pen, I did some doodling around some of the designs.


At this point it still didn’t feel complete. I added large areas of color using my distress stains.


Using a paper punch, I punched out my inchies.


Glancing through them I felt some were less than appealing. So, one by one I added more distress stain, doodling, etc.


Let me know if you try this at home!


Finding inspiration

I am participating in the #100dayproject choosing to do one hundred days of artist trading cards using all Ranger Ink products. I have decided to use my favorite cards as inspiration for art pieces and art journal pages, etc. This page is based upon that inspiration.


Through Her Eyes

I’m participating in an artist collaboration where we made something inspired by a diary one of the artists found in an antique shop. Inside this gorgeous journal are pages and pages of hand-written memories of a woman, almost 100 years ago.  As I read through it I began to wonder about her life. Who was she? What was her life really like?  She seemed to be a very happy person with a very active social life. It appeared she was a college student and had many friends and interested suitors. And so we created pieces in her memory, using her experiences and words as inspiration.




I printed off some of the pages and aged them a little. I wanted to use her actual handwriting in the piece. I added a lot of epherma that I felt would really reflect that time period. I also added lots of lace, pearls, and photos.





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