Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gloomy Day calls for Bright ART!!

It's gray and gloomy outside today but not in my journal!!

I don't normally like anything 3D in my journal but I couldn't help but add this leftover flower to her dress. 

And check out the paper for the dress! My 5 yr. old grandson made that with watercolors and salt! Pretty cool, huh?
And this is a newer version with digital art added created by my good friend Eileen Lyons:

You can see more of Eileens work on her Flickr channel here
Products used:
Assorted materials for collage and stamping
Scotch brand decorative tape

Hope your day is bright as well =0)


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Winner Announced

My grandson Josh drew 1 lucky winner from a hat for a free spot to Soul Food 2015
And the winner is:
Congratulations Sandy!! Please email me at danasinspirations at gmail dot com so I can forward your info on to the administrators.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Sparrow Journal Page

If you are here for the Soul Food giveaway please page down to the previous post. You still have until midnight tomorrow (Sat. 11/22 Midnight CST) to enter. 

I adore the song/Spiritual/Hymn "His Eye is on the Sparrow". (check out versions by Lauryn Hill and also Whitney Houston on Youtube)
Although not actually in the Bible it is based on this scripture:

Matthew 10:29-31New International Version (NIV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
That is what I was thinking of during the final phases of this page but it actually began life as just my excess paint scrapping page in on of my journals:
I literally just scrape excess paint from my palette onto a page in my journal with an old credit card or palette knife. 
Those black squiggly bits are still drying with matte medium but they were made from this:

This technique has been on my "HAVE to try" list after seeing Jane Davies Youtube video about a year ago. I LOVE this technique!! Thank you Jane!  I used DecoArt Americana Writer in black on a page protector and then went over it with two coats of heavy gel medium. That had to dry overnight and then I was able to cut up bits and pieces of it and collage it down.

I am working in my 9"x12" Canson Mixed Media journal with 98 lb. pages. 
And this is the part when I jump taking photo's of about 4 steps!! I get so into the process I forget to step back and take a pic! 
From the previous pic all I did was add some squares and rectangles shapes with Americana Blue Bahama paint. I love mixing transparent and opaque paints on the same page. All I was basically trying to do was mask where those collaged bits of black scribble ended. Then I shaded around the sides with Primary Magenta and Quin Burnt Orange
Next was to punch out some circles of old text with a punch. After collaging them down I gave them some color with one of my new favs Diarylide Yellow!! I shaded again with an angle brush using Primary Magenta. 
Last was to collage down some sparrows that I cut from one of grandpa's old book's. I painted over them with a coat of gesso and then added some color back in with some colored pencils and the Quin Burnt Orange I used previously. Here's a close up of the birds:

And that was all she wrote, literally! I DID struggle with whether to add words to the page or not. I decided not to. =0}


Monday, November 3, 2014

Soul Food Interview and GIVEAWAY {CLOSED}

Hi guys! I can't believe it's already November!! It's so weird, days seems to last forever but time overall seems to fly by. Is that just me?? We are getting closer to the opening of registration on January 1st of SOUL FOOD 2015!! I am thrilled to be able to offer one free spot to one lucky person!! 
 Last year was so much fun and I made so many new friends with teachers and students alike! Not to mention the amazing classes! To coincide with the giveaway is my interview which you can see below (gray hairs and all which have miraculously disappeared, lol!) 

To enter the giveaway just enter a comment below. There will be one chance per person. Please leave your email addy in your comment if you do not have an email linked to your profile. 
I will announce the winner November 22nd (unless some unforeseen event delays it!) I would really appreciate it if you help spread the word but it is not necessary for a chance to win. Good luck!! 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Drum Roll Please ...........

Sticky post so scroll down for more recent posts. 

I am thrilled to announce that Soul Food is back for 2015!!  I am over the moon excited to be teaching this round as well!! 


A brand new Soul Food class will run at Community Thrive, from February 1 through April 30, 2015.
You can expect: 
  • 3 Head Chefs: Mystele Kirkeeng, Heather Santos and Jeanette House
  • 17 Sous-Chefs
  • 2 video instruction mixed media lessons per week for 3 months
  • Each artist’s favourite comfort food cooking recipe
  • All downloadable videos
  • Classroom access through Dec 31, 2015
  • Access to a private Soul Food community group on Facebook
Registration will open on January 1, 2015, and you will need to be a member at Community Thrive in order to purchase and participate in Soul Food. 
The community is free to join and you can register here. When your registration is approved, you’ll find the Soul Food purchase link here [from January 1, 2015].
The purchase price for SF 2015 is $65 USD.
  • 10% discount available to our SF 2014 alumni
Everyone who purchases SF 2015 can also take advantage of:
  • 10% discount on Slimline SF 2014 [featuring the head Chefs' 17 lessons]
  • 10% discount on a new class that we'll be announcing on April 1, 2015!
In the meantime, there’s lots happening at Community Thrive to keep you playing: themed art challengesfree mini classes, and other online classes are all available now; and a new round of Mystele’s popular Gut Art class will open in October 2014.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Foam Stamps and Journal Page

Hey guys! I found some foam pop up dots from some former something or other and decided to make some stamps out of them. 
They had adhesive on both sides so I just stuck them down in different patterns (using scraps and all) to pieces of corrugated cardboard. Then I went over them with heavy gel medium.
I decided to try them out in my old text book journal that had some scraped paint on the page already:

Stamped with white paint
 Stamped with Cream paint

 Stamped with black Archival Ink 

 Then the fun began with my watercolors

 I did many, many layers of glazes which is just basically washes of colors. I love seeing how colors look when glazed over each other rather than mixing them on your palette.
 I added the collage circles, some doodling with my dip pen in different colors of acrylic inks
Here's a close up. I love how that one stamp created a journaling spot. Here are the supplies I used:

Be sure to check back in on November 2nd when I will be having a very special giveaway =0)


Sunday, October 12, 2014


I've been working with my watercolors again. I can never seem to stay fixed on one style or medium and I actually love that. I never get bored. 
I've sung the praises many times before about my love for the ning Paint My Photo. It is a place where photographers and artists come together. Photographers post their amazing photo's and artists are free to use them as reference for paintings. Here is my most recent painting from the photo taken by Luciole (I'm not sure if that link will work if you aren't a member).
Sunset on the water is one of my favorite times and places ever. And it's no secret how much I adore intense color, lol! Thanks so much to Luciole for taking such a gorgeous photo!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Creating the Signatures

I've gotten a few emails about how I created the signatures for my last post of my chunky journal. 
 Here's a few shots of what I started with:
 I went through and tore out every other page.  I then folded each page in half like shown below to create the signatures:
Can you see why I hesitated to share these pics?? ROFL!! But this is me, warts, messy work space and all ;P
 I love the deckled edges from tearing out of the book. I alternated the deckled edges both up and down to give it a nice uniform (ish) deckled edge look to the journal. I used five pages for each signature, which is just a bundle of pages together. 
I created the cover from medium weight chipboard and duct tape. The covers were painted with DecoArt American Paints and collaged with scrapbooking papers, some of the old text pages and printed tissue papers:
This is a different cover than the one I painted with a face. I then created a little template so I knew where to punch my holes in the binding with an awl.  
Then I used the same template on each signature ( again, just a bundle of 5 pages folded together) to punch three holes in the center. 
 Putting the bundles in the center of a notebook, phonebook, or something thick helps hold the signatures in place while you are punching them. I also clip the signatures together and keep them clipped until they are sewn in. 
 I use wax linen to stitch the signatures in. There's a shot of the brand I purchased on ebay. I've tried lots of others but I find the ones I can get in my local stores are too thick. You could also use plain old embroidery floss but the wax thread works wonders for tying a knot and keeping it tight. 
Here's a shot from the top showing how they look all stitched in. The sewing of the signatures in is quite easy but unfortunately I don't have any process shots of that part!! Here is a great tutorial with a slightly different style of journal but great visuals on how to do the stitching.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I HOPE this is informative and not too confusing! Bookbinding is definitely like riding a bike for me. Slightly difficult when you start but once you got it, you GOT it =0)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Chunky Journal

I was tearing pages out of an old book that I've been using as a journal for excess paint, etc. When I have extra paint leftover on my palette I scrape it in there, or clean off stencils, that sort of thing. It was getting sort of thick so I was thinning out the pages as I went and yesterday I just bit the bullet and thinned out the entire book (yes, it was a fat book!!) I ended up with enough to make two (possibly three!) little chunky journals. The second one is still waiting for the signatures to be sewn it but here's the first one all done:

I can't wait to start filling it up! The color of these old pages and the feel of them is great! 
I'm sorry I don't have any "how to" pics. I was working on it off and on all weekend and just sort of forgot to take process shots.  
Thanks so much for swinging by! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This really didn't start as having a bubble theme. It was more of a play with abstraction and glazing with watercolors. Some of those bubbles have layers and layers of different hues and it was amazing to watch how they changed and evolved. 
 A few of those bubbles have DecoArt Media Line Fluid Acrylics in Interfence Magenta and Violet over the layers of watercolors and copics. They are much more transparent than what they appear here. And YES!! You read that correctly, copics!! I haven't used them much at all in the past few years and it was so fun to see how wonderfully they worked on this hot pressed watercolor paper and a basecoat of watercolors. I noticed some of my nibs became tinted by some of the darker blues and purples but I scribbled off any excess pigments before putting them away and they seemed to have survived just fine. BUT as always, when I try something like this I know I am taking a risk of ruining a nib or two. 
For now, she's done but I have a feeling I'll be doing some ink work in her hair ;)
Thanks so much for swinging by!!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pods and Leaves

Here's my latest painting:

I used DecoArt Media Line Fluid Acrylics in Diarylide Yellow, Quinachridone Magenta, Dioxazine Purple and some Cobalt Turquoise  Hue and Titanium White for the background. 
I've used alcohol drips in a lot of past paintings but never in the extent that I did on this one.  I was TOTALLY inspired by this video by Andy Skinner:

I want to play with this again and again =0)


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Scraping Leftovers

When I created my last painting (scroll down for yesterdays post) I ended up with a large puddle of heavy body white paint and a nice size puddle of a violet purple. I hate to let that much go to waste so I scraped it into an old book that was laying on my table. I had been using the old text pages for collage. The pages are so thin that I glued a few together to give it some ooomph. 

And then the purple using my palette knife for both:
Here I was adding some texture into the wet paint with a little square of shelf liner:
Then it's just play time:
 Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Inks
Then spritzed with water. It is magic to watch pigments travel through water!!!
 Added turquoise chevron with my fav chevron roller (sorry, can no longer find some place that sells this!!) 

Some splatter of DecoArt Americana Neon paint in Sizzling Pink
And three different styles of washi tape here and there to finish it off. Well actually the washi tape was done before the pink splatters ;)
This was really quick and so much fun to just play!!