Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let them eat cupcakes!

Just a simple post. Today's going to be a crazy one- tutoring, gym, house cleaning, applying for grad school! The background is acrylic with a few collage elements- the green scrap was from a recent swap package I had sent. I tried drawing lines to journal on but I somehow got confused and messed up the flow. Oh well. I think it's a neat idea! I've seen it in a number of others' journals and thought I'd give it a shot.

I love cupcakes but I can't have them!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sister Lister 2010

My sister and I are really close (yet total opposites). This summer we decided to make a list of things we should do together and document through our journals. I have dubbed it "The Sister Lister." We plan to check off two more items off of our list tomorrow: shopping at Towson Mall (it's huge- like 4 levels and hundreds of stores) and getting steamed crabs!

First I doodled in watercolor with my water pen, then collaged a bit and washed over it with slightly watered down acrylic. The birds were made with a stencil and gesso. The title letters were stamped on and then done over with the yellow Sakura glaze pen. My tag was too shiny for my camera =( but it says "To Do" in neon green.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bad Romance spread

Sure I make mistakes- my last one was named Terry. =) It may not have worked out but I like this page. I started with a credit card scraped base using metallic acrylics and then layered on silver flecked tissue paper. I painted the doilies and just collaged the rest. The frame is printed on a kind of plastic and I found a pack of them on clearance at JoAnns a while ago.

Sorry I haven't been posting more often, my new job is kicking my butt! I just bought a new book called Creative Wildfire- if you art journal you'll love it! It's got a lot of great ideas (some old techniques and some new) including some binding techniques plus a bunch of interviews with well known art journalers.
-Aly B

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My first blog award!

Kira is an awesome blogger I linked to recently for her new blog with Audio, and she has given me my first blog award! Thank you!

These are the guidelines for accepting the award:
1. Put the logo on your blog within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.

After giving it a lot of thought, I'd like to give this award to:

1. Samantha Kira - one of my favorite art journalers! I love her messy/playful style and her weekly vlog.

2. Alisa Burke - a wonderful artist/crafter who is constantly posting tutorials and amazing stuff! She's also published her own book and working on the next one.

3. Audio - I've been swap partners with her and she knows how to spoil people! Her tiny houses and ATCs are wist worthy =)

4. Michelle Ward - an awesomely inspiring crafter with an eye for detail and patterns, I love her art journals! She also has a project call "The Crusades" where you can play along with the monthly craft challenge.

5. ihanna - a crafter of all trades, there isn't a project she won't tackle! When I want to step out of art journaling and need a craft idea she's the first blogger I look to.

6. Kate Crane - Her art journal spreads are always vibrant and often have that doodle quality to them that I love so much!

7. And of course there is then Kira . But she already has this award =)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy 100th post!

Today is finally the 100th post! I know this is a humble little blog but I hope it will continue to grow with time. My next blog project will be an international inchie swap =)

But I digress, you're waiting for the giveaway results! Five people entered and I submitted the numbers into a true random number generator ( and the winner is:

#5 Spooky!

Please email me at rougeraven @ ymail . com (with no spaces) with your address so I can ship you a bunch of goodies. Weather permitting, I'll be taking photos of the loot tomorrow. If I do not hear from you within a week I'll draw another number.

**I know this is a day early for the giveaway but my friend is in the hospital and I'll be visiting her tomorrow. Thanks for entering everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

99th post

So this is the 99th blog post according to my post counter on my dashboard. Tomorrow's giveaway will be announced at 9pm now due to a bonus day of work (= more $$$). So far only 3 people have commented to be in the running for the giveaway prizes, go do it if you haven't yet!

See you all tomorrow! Good luck!

NSFW spread

Today's spread is not safe for work because some people find correct terms for body parts offensive. (I still don't get it.)

This spread was from my friend's V-day production, if you haven't been before I highly suggest you go. I've gone every year for the past 4 years but haven't performed yet but I hope to in the future. The Vagina Monologues are a collection of various women's memoirs based on their sexuality, womanhood, and sadly for some, the abuse they have suffered. It's not all depressing, there's always lots of laughing too. Proceeds always benefit a local women's shelter or other women's organization as well as the annual cause. I believe this past year was Africa and preventing FGC/FGM (female genital cutting/female genital mutilation).

Tomorrow is the giveaway!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I've been a fan of Post Secret for years and I have so far found 2 secrets in the various books of them. This secret came from my local library and says, "I'm scared that I won't be able to make it through college because I'll get homesick. Harford County is all I've ever known." If I could have written a note back to this person I would tell her, "You're going to do great. You'll miss home but you're also going to discover how big and amazing the world is."

Four years ago I left home for the first time to live with my boyfriend in Tennessee for the summer. For the following 3 and a half years I'd leave my family in Maryland and travel all over the country with Dave, I've seen so much and met so many people. If I hadn't jumped in and just took a chance I would have missed out on a lot, including learning who I am and what matters most to me. Dave and I didn't work out but we're still on good terms and I had so many adventures. I don't have any regrets.

But since I couldn't talk to this girl I journaled about it instead and meditated on my college experience. It's hard to believe I'll be going to grad school in the fall!

I just found out two of my favorite crafters just started a new inspiration blog! Check it out at:

Post #1

Sorry about not posting yesterday! I thought I would be able to post sometime before or after the party but I spent all of the morning cleaning and the last guests didn't leave till 1am. So... two posts today!

This was one of my first experiments of mixing gloss gel medium by Golden with my cheap-o acrylics (Folkart/Americana/etc.). I liked how the paint became glossier (glaze like). It was a lot of fun to layer but after sitting in a hot humid room, closed on the shelf, the pages have since stuck together. This photo is prior to the damage:

I started with a base of green acrylic paint that was scraped onto the page with an old gift card. Next I collaged some scraps on, including a vintage photo of some distant relative. I mixed 2:1 gloss gel medium and acrylic violet paint and scraped that on with the card. I repeated with the gray and then collaged more scraps on top. Finally, I used a palate knife to smear 2:1 of gloss gel medium and brown acrylic onto the top papers. I tried a number of pens (check fraud prevention, various ball points, etc.) and I found only sharpie and Sakura medium point gelly rollers work. Here I used the Sakura and I gave it time to dry overnight.

I haven't figured out how to prevent the pages from sticking yet but I know Samantha Kira (Journal Girl) has a video about it so I'm going to review it tomorrow. Here's the link! (It's the second video listed). I'm wondering if it making it a 1:1 ratio would make it less prone to sticking. I'll be playing around with it in the future.

2 more days till the giveaway!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Artist Loft watercolors

I was so tired from cleaning yesterday that I went to bed at 8pm (which is ridiculously early for me, it's usually 2am) and didn't get up until 8am. I was out. I can't wait for this party business to be done with so I can get back to crafting! This is another spread from when I was still agonizing over whether to go to grad school to get a degree in secondary education to teach high school or a degree in writing to teach college.

The pattern and colors were inspired by a label from some organic scones I had bought. I usually use acrylics but these are Artist Loft watercolors, they only cost around $4.00 and they work beautifully. I have found the Artist Loft brand is great for crafters on a budget and the quality is great too. The woman's face is actually cut out of an amazing Indian bridal magazine I found buried in the magazine racks at Barnes and Noble. I love Indian fashion- the colors and embroidery is fabulous! Love love love!

Remember the giveaway!

Friday, June 11, 2010


My color palate for this page was inspired by a peacock feather- greens, blues and purples... it's my favorite color combination! This photo was taken by a 4 year old I was babysitting some years ago and it has become one of my favorites. There's just something about the idea of peeking at the vast blue sky behind your hands that makes you feel youthful and like your options are endless. The star stamps were carved by my sister; I love the uneven, doodle quality they have.

Oh, and I decided to get my masters degree in professional writing to become a professor. =)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Valentine's Day spread

Don't worry, I didn't forget you guys! I'm super sore from scrubbing floors in preparation for the party Sunday, I feel like I'm 90. I've spent the time not at work just laying down and reading Stephen King's The Dome. (It's a good one!) The only thing I hate about having guests is that I can't pull all of my supplies out and play. I need to spread out when I create or else I feel claustrophobic.

The giveaway is in 6 days! Have you commented yet?

Today's photo is from this past Valentine's day. You could say I was a little bitter. (It was the first V-day I spent without my ex in 4 years.) The torn playing card is from the day care center I work at- if you ever want something grunged up just give it to kids to play with for a while. I have an entire deck of these banged up cards that my boss was just going to throw out. It just goes to show that you should always keep an eye out for potential supplies. You never know where they may turn up!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June Snowflakes

It's rare for me to have a journal spread without words but sometimes it's nice to take a break and just make art. This is the result of Michelle Ward's Snowflake Crusade ( from this past winter.

First I painted my spread with blue acrylic paint with a second layer of light blue paint applied with a wad of plastic wrap. Next I cut out a snowflake to use as a stencil with various stamp pads. I love how the silver ink looks! One of my art journaling goals is to allow myself to play more often and to let things be pretty for pretty sake rather than writing all the time.

Don't forget about the giveaway next Wednesday!
Comment here to enter:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Inspiration, muses, and glitter wands

I work in my art journals according to the "seasons" (not the specific date the season starts but by the month ex. Summer = June, July, August or winter = December, January, February.)

No matter what size or type of book I use I never seem to have a problem timing it just right; I rarely have pages left over by the end. This is the last spread of my Winter '09-'10 journal. I used metallic flecked tissue paper over acrylic paints to create a snowy look. The bluebird in the right corner seems to be popping up more and more often in my journaling- I think he's a combination between a symbol for my muse and my late mother. I like how he's peering over the girl's shoulder as if whispering what to draw and write in her book.

My mother passed away on Halloween 2008 from emphysema. She was obsessed with fairies (especially Tinkerbell) and the color blue. One year for Easter my mom bought an egg decorating kit with gems, feathers, paper, the works and she made her egg into the "bluebird of happiness." Now when I see bluebirds zip by in their bright blurs it reminds me of that Easter and fairies, which remind me of mom. She got my sister and me started in crafts at a young age and it has stuck with us. My mother and I made our own YaYa Sisterhood hats (I'm wearing mine in the photo below from her 50th surprise party) and she made the wand she's holding. Even though she's passed on she is my muse: now that I'm not pressured with grades I feel like I can focus on beginning an altered book dedicated to her, along with a pink high top shrine inspired by the Crafty Chica and an art journal workshop dedicated to coping with the grieving process. I love my mom

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fly By Post!

I don't have much to say today, I'm scrambling around the house trying to get stuff ready for my graduation party this Sunday. This spread is an example how art journaling isn't just for fronds, flowers and happy thoughts. Sometimes we're just cranky and need to let 'er rip! I really like this color combination.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Flaps and Giveaway Announcement

This is my 90th post! To celebrate the 100th post I will be hosting another craft supply giveaway and posting everyday for the next 10 days. To enter you must submit a comment on this post by next Wednesday, June 16th at noon (east coast time). The number will be selected by a random number generator; the winner will be announced on Thursday's post.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Etsy and duct tape

I've been crafting nearly every night, it's so great having time to myself! I am beginning to create items for my etsy store- tonight I'm gathering papers for some spiral bound journals and collage packets. What products do you believe are hard to come by/you love? My goal is to provide the kinds of things the major chains just don't offer (I'm to the point that when I walk into Michael's and JoAnn's that I already own it or have seen it all. I want variety!) I can't be the only one!

This page is from my winter 2009 journal which was falling apart by the end (I overlooked the poor spine for the cute small size). So I reinforced the spine with some duct tape and decided to just cover the whole page. I wrote with colored sharpies but oooh boy did it stink!