Wednesday, June 29, 2016

10 Art Journaling Supplies to Get Started Art Journaling

Ready to get started art journaling? Here are ten of my favorite art journaling supplies to use when art journaling. Artwork pictured is by Mary Brack.

Journal – You need a basic journal to get started. If you are going to be doing a lot of layering and using heavy art media, get a thick sketchbook or a journal that contains watercolor paper. Moleskines are a popular type of journal. The  Watercolor Moleskine or Moleskine Sketchbook are good options for thicker paper. Handmade journals are good if you want something more unique. Look on Etsy for handmade journals such as the ones in my shop, Move the Needle

Old books also make good journals. If you want to make an altered book, you can find an old book with words or photos. Illustrated books are also good for finding pictures to use in journal entries.

Paint and Paintbrushes – Paint is a great way to add color to your journal. Watercolor paint is my favorite to use in art journaling because you can layer it easily. Acrylic paint is also a good option. Don't forget to get paint brushes that come in a variety of sizes. You can use paint brushes for paint or to add adhesive or glue to items you want to add to your journal.

Gesso - Gesso can be used as a base for art journaling entries. It is a good to use as a base for acrylic paint. You can also use the gesso on its own to create texture and patterns.

Writing Tools – Get basic writing tools like pencils, pens and markers so you can write down your thoughts. Art pencils are good for sketching. You can get professional art markers or just use whatever you have around.

Decorative Paper or Fabric – I like using decorative paper to collage in my art journal. It also is nice to use in the background. Another option is to use fabric. If you're worried about the fabric being too thick for your page, start with adding a little bit at a time. Cut small shapes out of fabric such as hearts and stars or use it like decorative paper.

Colored Pencils – You can use basic colored pencils or more professional ones. I also like water colored pencils because you can add water to change the look so they kind of work like watercolor paint.

Crayons or Pastels – Pastels are nice to have. You can draw with pastels or use them in different layers of art journaling. Crayons are a cheaper option.

Ink – Ink comes in a variety of colors. Use it to write or stamp with.

Stamps and Stencils – Stamps and stencils can add interesting designs to your journal pages. You can also make your own stamps and stencils using found objects such as lace or orange peels.

Photographs – Personal photos are nice to put in your journal. You can use film photographs or print out photos from your computer on photo pa

Glitter and Other Embellishments – Basic craft glitter is great to add a little sparkle to your journal entries. Use it on journal entries while they are still wet. You can also mix the glitter with adhesive and paint it on your entries. Other embellishments include ribbon and lace.

Found Objects – Be on the look out for fun items to stick in your journal entries. You can use any material that you can lay flat or can fit in your journal. Some examples of found objects are
envelopes, postcards, stickers, bubble wrap, paper clips, receipts, graph paper and file
folders. Go through old issues of magazines and newspaper and save articles, words and images you like. Natural objects, such as dried herbs and autumn leaves, are also good to add to your art journal pages.

Wax Paper – Wax paper will make sure that art journal pages dry without sticking together. Put wax paper that is slightly larger than your journal page size in between pages while they are drying. I also like to put wax paper underneath my art journal when working on pages. You can find wax paper at the grocery store.

Scissors or Paper Cutter – Don't forget the basics. You can invest in good quality scissors if you want, but any scissors you already have will work.A paper cutter is also good for cutting straight lines or cutting a lot of paper at once.

Adhesive - Good quality PVA glue will help your art journaling pages last longer. Mod Podge is another good option that is good for using when you collage because you can also use the glue as a sealer. Another option for adhesive is gel medium, which can also be used to thin acrylic paint.

Box or Art Bin  – Use a box, art bin or drawer to store all your art journaling supplies. You might
want to keep a separate box or bin for found objects and items you may want to include in your journal. Save any left over materials you have to reuse later. Pull from the found objects box whenever you want to create an art journal page, but don't know where to start.

Go to the craft store or look around to find more art supplies and items you can use in
your journal.

See my previous entry to learn more about art journaling.

What are your favorite art journaling supplies? 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Interview: Scrapbooking Supplies from ChickyDoddle

ChickyDoddle sells scrapbooking and crafting supplies including decorative tapes, rubber stamps and craft paper. A percentage of the net proceeds is donated to a charity each year. 

What is your favorite non profit organization to donate to?

I prefer to donate to public schools. My preferred organization to use is My profile in DonorsChoose is "The MaKu Collection", which is the company name I used when I first started my own business.  You can view the projects I've supported through this link

What is your best selling item in your shop?
I would say my Custom Labels.  

How do you like to package your items?
I like to package my washi tapes with glassine paper bags and stickers + bubble wrap.  For labels I always pack them carefully with cardboard and resealable cello bags to keep them in good shape during transit.

How do you promote your shop?
I use Etsy Promoted Listing, advertise in Blogs, and use Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I also sponsor certain fundraising events.

What is your favorite social media website to use?

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
The ease to set up shop and listings.

What do you hope for the future with your shop?
I would like to bring in more washi tape designs, more kawaii stickers, and make more creative custom stickers and labels.  I'm also hoping to expand my product line next year but I'm still investigating the best new products to carry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Art Journaling: Portraits

A portrait is defined as an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and expression is predominant. A portrait can show the personality and character of a person. Portraits are great to add to your art journal. Supplies:
  • Art Journal: You can use an art journal or sketch paper you have.
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Lettering
  • Marker: You can use professional art marker or just sharpies.
  • Mirror or Images for Inspiration
Techniques: 1. You can make a portrait of yourself or of someone you know. Try doing a sketch of yourself doing a favorite activity such as dancing or reading. Add a prop if you wish. You can use a mirror if you are doing a self portrait or images of people for inspiration.
2. Self portraits can be an exercise in self growth. For this journal entry, I started with an image of myself and wrote down negative thoughts and self doubts. I then added acrylic paint over the image and made my portrait more fantasy like. I then added a positive word, “trust” in gold letters. 2. Try making a portrait of a fictional character such as a mermaid or angel. Place your character in the appropriate environment such as underwater. I used acrylic paint for this photo. 3. Portraits don't have to be just people. Try doing a portrait of your favorite pet. Let me know if you try out these techniques. Add the hashtags #movetheneedleartjournal or #movetheneedleplanner to journal entries you post online.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Grocery Shopping on a Budget

I have been trying to grocery shop on a budget lately. These are some tips I have for saving money while shopping:
  • Make a grocery list before going shopping and set a budget. This will help you avoid impulse buying. Having a meal plan is also very helpful. When you plan meals, you will know exactly what ingredients you need and will be able to buy just the things you need instead of buying food that might go to waste
  • Make meals yourself instead of buying frozen or premade meals. Frozen and premade meals are often more expensive than buying the ingredients for making the meal yourself. Instead of buying frozen meals, save leftover food you have and freeze it so you can reheat and seve it later. Frozen food will often last a while.
  • Buy in bulk when you can. Buying bulk can often help you save money, but make sure you will really use the products you buy in bulk. Also, look for store named brands if you can.
  • There are many apps that can help you save money when you shop. Store apps, such as the Whole Foods app, contain coupons and other shop discounts. Checkout 51 will give you cash back on your grocery purchases. Save your receipts and use ReceiptHog to earn money.
What tips do you have for grocery shopping?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Coastal Inspiration

Summer reminds me of the beach and coastal environments. A little while ago, I helped an artist, Kim Rody, who sells coastal inspired artwork with their social media to promote their Etsy and KickStarter page. Here is some coastal and beachy inspiration I found while doing their social media pages:

If you are interested in working with me, see my Hire Me page.

What inspires you? 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Free Printable: Social Media Guide to Hashtags

Do you use hashtags on social media? A hashtag is a keyword or phrase within a post on social media. You create a hashtag by using the number symbol (#) sign in front of a word or a phrase (for example #blog). Hashtags allow you to categorize topics and join conversations. You can also see what topics are trending with hashtags.

Some websites that support hashtags include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and Tumblr. On Twitter, hashtags allow tweets to get more engagement. The magic number to use on Twitter is two hashtags. Instagram is a big fan of hashtags with interactions highest on Instagram with over 11 hashtags. On Facebook, it is preferred to not use a hashtag.

Download Worksheet

What hashtags should you use? Download my free printable for some top hashtags to use for bloggers and creative business owners.

What are your favorite hashtags to use?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Interview: Perfumes from StephanieK

StephanieK sells natural perfumes and beauty products. The perfumes are plant derived and contain no synthetic aromas so they are great for people with chemical sensitivity or allergies. 

Describe what you sell in your shop. 

My shop features my line of 6 all natural perfumes, plus a few beauty products like lip balm, facial oils and sugar scrubs.  About 10 years ago I started making my own perfumes with essential oils, and I just fell in love with the botanical essences and the art of old-style perfumery.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy? Do you use any other websites?

I love the Etsy Local feature on the mobile app. It lets you find Etsians in your area and see all the events where you can meet them in person. 

What is your creative process like?  

There are so many benefits to having your own website, I could go on and on about it. I would encourage any seller to start one as soon as they are able to do it. If you're up to tackling a learning curve, you can DIY your site and save a lot of money, but hiring a pro is the smart choice if you're serious about running it as a business. Either way, you do need to be able to commit time to operating and marketing your site.  It can be more challenging to operate on Etsy and a website at the same time if you have one of a kind products, because you'll have to sync inventories. But I do about half my business on my website and half on Etsy.  If you can only do one, go with Etsy because it's easy to operate and it has a built-in audience.

Where do you get inspiration?

I feel inspired by so many things! Music, food, stories, experiences, travel. Getting out into a more natural setting like a park or nature preserve. 

What is your favorite way to promote your shop?

Instagram has been something I've been getting into recently. I'm camera shy myself, but I like taking pictures as a way of sharing my feelings and telling my story.

Describe your studio space. Where do you work?

My studio space is a work room on the upper floor where it's cool and quiet, so it's great to have a space that is separated. My dad built for me a perfumer's organ, which is a steep tiered stand which holds many bottles so you can access them easily. We also made these great wooden vials holders for filling. Also a LOT of glassware. The whole space is inundated by lab glassware, blending bottles, big vials, tiny vials and perfume bottles of all shapes and sizes.

How do you package your products?

Packaging is really important to any product, but here I am selling perfume online. If I can't attract someone with a photo and a text description there's just no way! It's really challenging to figure out great packaging on a small scale. I design and print my own labels at home and add nice details by hand to my boxes. I like to use recycled paper where I can, and of course glass which is both reusable and recyclable.

Do you ever experience creative blocks?

Oh yes... I'm good friends with creative block. To run a shop you have to take on so many different roles, so there's a lot of opportunity to get stuck. If I start to feel anxiety about a task, that totally blocks up my creativity.  I just have to set it aside until that anxiety fades. Working on another task or even just goofing off seems to be the best way to bring it back. Great ideas most often come when you're not trying to think of great ideas.

Do you sell wholesale or consignment?

Yes, I do offer wholesale now and I am open to working out consignment deals. My items have a broad appeal so they can fit right in with nice boutiques, salons and spas, and even health and wellness retailers.

Do you ever do craft shows?

I do a few craft shows per year. Right now I'm only doing shows in central Texas so I that don't have much travel overhead. My biggest show is actually a renaissance faire. Every spring I spend 8 full weekends out at the Sherwood Forest Faire near Bastrop.

What do you hope for the future with your shop? 

People who try my perfumes so often say they're so much better than anything you can get in a store, so I really need to work on getting the word out. I hope to have my samples in beauty boxes and full size perfumes into retail spaces in the next 6 months. It's been a long time since I released a new perfume, so I also want to creating two or three new fragrances this year.

Thanks for having me here! I'd like to encourage everyone to enter my monthly drawing. Enter here for a chance to win a free perfume --