Friday, January 31, 2014

Mt Hood Tangles

Last year when family was visiting here in Oregon, we went up the lodge at Mt Hood.  I took a few photographs.  Pretty so-so stuff.  Photography is not my thing, but they were okay.



Lately, though, I've been using landscapes as strings to tangle in.  (Feel free to use this string, or make your own from the photo.


I did two zentangles, one that's pretty abstract....


...and one that captures the feel of a landscape.


Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle Patterns: How to draw IPSO
BALLOYA - A New Tangle Pattern

Tutorials
Sweet heart stuffies 
Drawing Techniques on Depth, Color & Value--Free Download (must be a member of Artist Daily)
Flip-flop, swing, flip it or swivel card
How to: Thrift Store Side Table Makeover
From sketchbook to stencil to art quilt 

Giveaways
Enter to Win a PenChalet Gift Card
Royal Ballet 2014 Diary and Craft Goodie Giveaway
CHA Recap 2 of 3 and another Giveaway
The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 04 - Building Character #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

I've joined a free year-long journal prompt group, Journal52, run by Chelle Stein.  My goal is to keep it quick and easy, no planning, no fretting, no criticizing, just exploration and fun.

I indulged myself a bit for this round, both because it was complex and I should have been working on something else.  But I've wanted to play around with *toilet paper mache for a while, and I knew my heart wouldn't be in the other projects until I finished this.

Working on this over a period of days would have kept it simple.  Ah, but sometimes, you just can't wait.


It was difficult to scan or get a photo that shows the girl in her 3D glory.  I took this close-up but I still couldn't get her toes to show well.



My process:
1. I tore up strips of toilet paper and put them in a plastic bag with PVA glue (Elmer's or any white glue would work) to make *toilet paper mache.  I kneaded the bag until the toilet paper was thoroughly mixed and broken down, then set the bag aside while I worked on other parts of the project.
2. I laid down yellow acrylic paint and then dotted orange paint all over with **Montana Markers.
3. I stamped the words for the prompt onto scrapbook paper, cut them out in irregular blocks and glued them down the page.  I also cut out three pieces, one for the front of the skirt, and two for the sides.
4.  The swirls were made with a hot glue gun, making sure I left a space where the girl would go. I also outlined the scrapbook paper blocks with the glue gun.
5  The page was covered thoroughly with a metallic magenta paint.  Then, while still wet I then used a baby-wipe to remove the paint from the swirls, and lifted it partially here and there to let some of the yellow and orange show through.
6.  I repeated step 3 with Ultramarine Violet, this time removing most of it, so it mostly darkened the areaas around the swirls. Any dark violet acrylic would work for this.
7. I repeated step 4 with Ultramarine Blue.
8. The girl was outlined on the page, and I glued the scrapbook pieces in place for her skirt.
9. I painted her skin with Titanium Buff and shaded it with Transparent Red Oxide.  I also used the Red Oxide to color her hair, and dotted on her freckles.
10. I cut pieces of **paper drywall adhesive tape for her hair, and the lace on her skirt.
11. Using a toothpick, I picked up some of the toilet paper mache and worked it into a lump for the girl's nose.  I repeated this for her lips, her knuckles and her big toes.
12.  After 15 minutes or so, I painted titanium buff over the mache, shading it with Transparent Red Oxide.
13.  I let everything dry overnight, then went in with a Pigma Micron to darken the eyelashes and shade around her face.
14.  I cut out pieces of the scrapbook paper (blue) for her eyes and glued them on, outlining with the Micron (which is highly water-resistant, water-proof once thoroughly dry).
15.  I didn't like the blue eyes, so I painted over them with the red oxide.
16.  To seal  the page I painted everything with transparent gesso, so the hot glue swirls and acrylic paint wouldn't stick the pages together.

*If you google 'toilet paper mache recipes', you'll find lots of instructions online.  Mainly it's toilet paper torn up, and glue (Elmer's will do) mixed in a bowl or plastic bag until it's a pulp.  You add more toilet paper or more glue until you get a pulp that's spreadable but not liquid.



**Montana Markers are another great tool, especially with ones with the 15mm tip.  Essentially, they're just plastic tubes resembling marker pens, filled with acrylic paint.  They are a little spendy, but you can also buy them empty, and fill them up with cheaper acrylic paint to save some money.  They're cleaner than brushes or foam tools and you can cover a large area very quickly.  Like Copic Markers, they are refillable and you can replace the tip, so the major expense for each color is one time.  If you don't already have any paints or brushes, these might be cheaper in the long run, unless you are buying the very cheapest of paints and brushes.




**I love this drywall tape.  If you can find a roll, snap it up because it is so handy.  You can peel away the backing and stick it to a page for texture. You can cut shapes.  It tears easily.  You can glue down the backing too, getting double duty.  You can use it as a stencil.  You find this in hardware stores (I buy mine at Lowes)  Be sure you get the paper kind with holes.  It also comes in a solid paper roll, and there are plastic mesh.  The plastic mesh is pretty good as well, but not as easy to use as the paper.




Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle pattern Splice

Tutorials
Per Sempre
Tutorial: Watercoloring with Stamps
Valentines Butterfly Pillow Box for kids
Doodling on Burlap and painting with Silks Acrylic Glaze- video
Hanging Pocket Valentine

Giveaways
Win a Copic Airbrush System and 10 Sketch Markers
Giveaway Round Up (Various Fountain Pen giveaways)
Graphic 45-NEXT LEVEL STYLE WITH COUTURE TUTORIALS

Miscellaneous
Learn & Improve Your Drawing Ability By Doing Homework
Sneak Peek (A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Making of the "Back to Basics" Workshops) - this is an upcoming FREE Strathmore workshop, and it looks very interesting!
The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 03 - You always make me smile

I've joined a free year-long journal prompt group, Journal52, run by Chelle Stein.  My goal is to keep it quick and easy, no planning, no fretting, no criticizing, just exploration and fun.

This week, the prompt was 'You Always Make Me Smile'.  I was stumped for a few minutes, but with Valentines coming up, I decided to use hearts and after a few minutes of thought, I knew who always made me smile.  I hope you can read the writing on the page, because it's meant for you.



I did some layering, starting by sticking down strips of washi tape.  I did this before I even knew what the prompt was.  Then I covered both pages with Golden's Primary Red and Martha Stewarts's Canteloupe acrylic paint, wiping it away from the tape, and scrubbing a few areas to get a variation of color.

I tried a gel medium transfer of one of my zentangle drawings, which failed, so I just worked over it.  But it added a little extra interest to the area behind the heart.

I cut a heart shape by putting two pieces of *drywall paper adhesive tape (see below if you are unfamiliar with this product) together and cutting out one half of a heart.

Previously I had stamped the prompt onto a strip of music and I glued this into the journal.  Then I used a **Montana Marker  (see below if you are unfamiliar with this product) in Shock Kent Blood Red to cover large portions of the page, including the heart.  I created the blue hearts as negative shapes, and colored them in Shock Lt. Blue Montana marker.  I was careful to leave some of the canteloupe and lighter areas still showing.  I added some more Shock Lt. Blue to make the heart stand out a bit more.
I used Martha Stewart's Artichoke, Golden's Interference Red and Liquitex's ***Interference Violet for the highlights, Golden's Ultramarine Violet for the shadows.  The Artichoke was also used to paint the off-white hearts.  

A Pentel white Sunburst gel pen was used to bring out the words of the prompt, and to write my sentiments.  As a last touch, I used a red glitter brush along one side of the heart and around the words of the prompt.

This sounds like a lot of work, and not very simple, but it can be done in almost the amount of time it takes to write about, especially if you're using something like the Montana Markers.   As it was, I did this over a period of days, with the background done before I even knew the prompt.  It was simple because it was done a little at a time as an idea came to me.


*I love this stuff.  If you can find a roll, snap it up because it is so handy.  You can peel away the backing and stick it to a page for texture. You can cut shapes.  It tears easily.  You can glue down the backing too, getting double duty.  You can use it as a stencil.  Love the stuff!














**Montana Markers are another great tool, especially with ones with the 15mm tip.  Essentially, they're just plastic tubes resembling marker pens, filled with acrylic paint.  They are a little spendy, but you can also buy them empty, and fill them up with cheaper acrylic paint to save some money.  They're cleaner than brushes or foam tools and you can cover a large area very quickly.  Like Copic Markers, they are refillable and you can replace the tip, so the major expense for each color is one time.  If you don't already have any paints or brushes, these might be cheaper in the long run, unless you are buying the very cheapest of paints and brushes.

***Interference means that the color is almost clear in some lights, but it catches the light and changes color, sort of like a hologram.  These are usually spendy, and not nearly as useful as the Montana Markers, but oh, they are cool.  I bought mine at sale prices, and only have the two.  I doubt I'll ever have many of them, but the nice thing is that you can use them over almost any other color, because they have so little color of their own.  You only need one tube/bottle to get the effect.

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle Patterns: How to draw FASSETT 

Tutorials

Giveaways
Simon Says Stamp February Card Kit

Miscellaneous
Review of the Clairefontaine Fine Grain Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad
Download these cute sentiments for a quick and easy card design
The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review of the Clairefontaine Fine Grain Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad #Exaclair, #Watercolor #MixedMedia

 Review of the Clairefontaine Fine Grain Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad

Last September I reviewed a Clairefontaine 8x8 watercolor pad.  I also received an  4 7/8" x 9 1/2" version of this pad, and that's what I'm reviewing today.



Specs
-designed for watercolor, gouache, or wash drawing.
-top wire bound pad    
-20 sheets
-300 g
-acid free paper
-cold pressed surface; fine grain
-Clear polypro front & back cover
-rigid backboard, lightweight
-Size:  4 7/8" x 9 1/2" (120 x 240 mm)


Look & Feel
The description of paper says that it is 'fine-grained', or 'grain fin' if you want the original French.  It means that this is a surprisingly smooth watercolor paper.  That means you can use pen or even marker, without the fraying that most watercolor paper would cause.

The paper is heavy enough that you could use it for a journal cover, or glue on embellishments if you want to use it for mixed media.

The clear polypro covers and the thicker cardboard backing are very light.  As usual, the transparency of the polypro is a mixed blessing.  Whatever you do with the first page shows through.  If you plan your page, it looks fantastic, but it can just as easily look cluttered as this example shows.



Pages are not perfed, but they do tear out easily.  The edges then need to be trimmed.


The slots for the wire-binding are wide and square cut, and the wire spiral is larger than I like.  I prefer a spiral binding that doesn't allow the paper to slide much.  With paper as heavy as this, there is little concern about wear and tear, but the paper could move while you are working on it.

On the other hand, this is exactly the spiral binding you would want if you are going to be adding 3D objects and using layers of mixed media.  

If you don't intend to keep the finished piece in the pad, you could tear it out before starting and eliminate worry about the binding, altogether.

I like the landscape format of this pad, though it isn't a size I'll use daily.  The narrow length limits the layouts, but there are some subjects that just cry out for it.  I like to switch to this kind of format when I feel that I'm getting stale.  It makes you look at world differently and think LOOONG instead of square.  Every artist needs to look at think LOOONG on occasion.

Performance
As I found with the 8x8 pad, this paper will take almost anything you throw at it.  It's a good watercolor paper, though some techniques will work better than others.  Since I had tested mixed media so heavily in my previous review (and the paper was great for it), I decided to focus on watercolor this round, though I did do a color pencil and a fountain pen ink as well.

Watercolor
Daniel Smith Professional Watercolor Paints

One of my Christmas presents was DANIEL SMITH's Watercolor Color Map Mixing 10 Tube Set, which is more or less based on the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow color wheel.  I was eager to play with these watercolors, so I did a couple of charts.

The first is simply blocks of the colors so that I could see what they are.  I wanted to get the full intensity of color, so I kept the brush and paper as dry as possible just adding enough to help spread the paint.  The colors went down bright but not brilliant, moving easily and drying in what I would consider an average amount of time.  There was no curling, dimpling or buckling.  (The lines are pencil marks drawn because I was planning to cut this page into strips, and I forgot to scan before adding the lines.)


Rather than painting the traditional charts I like to try out my color mixes by painting circles over circles, so that was my next test.  I painted both dry-on-wet and wet-on-wet and both worked equally well.  There was a slight curling on the bottom corners (not the top, because the wire-binding holds the them flat).

This time the line you see happened when I dropped a wet painting and almost caught it before it touched this one.  *sigh*

Then I tried a couple of negative paintings.  I went heavier with the water on this one, wetting small areas and charging the water into the puddle.  I did see more curling at the bottom ends, but it still wasn't bad.  All the curl is easily removed by placing a weight on the paper for a few hours.  In fact, most of it was removed simply by rolling the curl back.


I was going to do a triptych of smaller paintings on one page, but got distracted (by the flu) and forgot about it.  I found this one I did just shortly before writing the review.  I was playing with glazes and had planned to continue adding color.  I kind of like this the way it is though.


Faber-Castell Gelatos
To play around with washes and try out a different kind of watercolor, I did a painting with Faber-Castell's gelato sticks.  They come in tubes like chapstick and have about the same consistency.  I rubbed on some of the color and wet it heavily.  Gelatos can take a lot of color before they'll create a wash, so it was a good test for curling and to see how absorbent the paper was.  The performance was good.  The gelatos wet down easily--sometimes they'll stay gummy if the water is absorbs too quickly. I was able to get a nice flow to my wash, covering large areas before much water was absorbed.  Curling was about the same as with the Daniel Smith watercolors.



Colored Pencil
Coloursoft Color Pencils
I probably should have started with this drawing, because it gives some idea of the paper's texture.  There is more than enough tooth for several layers of graphite, colored pencil or pastel, but it isn't as rough or pitted as most of the watercolor papers I've used.  As usual, I had trouble getting the color to scan well, so this photo isn't as colorful as the drawing itself.



Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Inks with Lami Safari Fountain Pen and J. Herbin Roller ball pen
Normally, I avoid using pen on watercolor paper.  Fabric pens get frayed, fountain pens clog and tear up the paper.  Ballpoint and rollerball produce a jagged line because of the tooth.  These problems are less an issue on this paper, though you don't avoid them completely.  If you like a rough, slightly raw look to your work, then the issues are worth it.

I got around the rough pen line by squirkling, which gives a lovely textural look, but takes about three times longer to cover an area, than other methods.




Overall
My impression of the Clairefontaine Watercolor Pad is a good one.  I don't think it is the best watercolor paper you could find because it is so smooth.  But it's good, and frankly, for watercolors of this size, it is as good as it needs to be.  A pad this size is more for watercolor sketches than meticulous works.

While the relative smoothness limits the watercolor, it opens up other possibilities, making this a great choice for multi-media.

This is a great size for travel, especially if you intend to paint landscapes.  The paper weight is sturdy, but the weight of the pad is surprisingly light.  Many watercolor papers need to be taped down because the curling makes it difficult to paint.  The Clairefontaine watercolor paper curls so little that you don't need to tape it down.  And the paper is flexible enough to work with most mediums.

Disclaimer: I received these products so that I could try them out.  I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

I really enjoy trying out products like these, and being able to share them with my readers.  Thank you, Exaclair!


Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Weekly Zentangle Challenge #152
Zentangle Newsletter
Zendala Dare #89

Tutorials
Free Downloadable PDF-French Country tag project sheet 
Image Transfers: Which Glue?-video
Watercolor Painting on Yupo Paper With Wax Resist
Hues, Tints, Tones and Shades: What’s the Difference?
FAQs: Wholecloth painting

Giveaways
A TASTE OF CHA: win scrapbooking supplies worth $500
Fat Roll washi giveaway (facebook)
Verday 2 oz paint kit

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 02 - A Simple Place

I've joined a free year-long journal prompt group, Journal52, run by Chelle Stein.  My goal is to keep it quick and easy, no planning, no fretting, no criticizing, just exploration and fun.

This week I also decided that I'm going to use collaged pieces from the same songbook as a sort of unifying thread for each page.  That is kind of planning, but it goes toward keeping the pages quick and easy.  I'm also using the same alphabet stamp set to stamp the prompt.

Prompt 02 was 'A Simple Place'.

And I really managed to keep it this week!


Immediately, I had a vision of a white house on a hill and an idea for a mixed media background.  With a make-up sponge, I daubed acrylic paint in titanium buff, cantaloupe, and burnt umber, applying it thickly in some places and less so in others.

I cut out the house shape from the songbook, and used Zinc White (it's more transparent), Transparent Red Oxide and Payne's Gray for the house.  I used an olive green for the hillside and foliage.  There was a patch of burnt umber on the right that vaguely suggested a barn. I used a mix of Transparent Red Oxide and Payne's Gray to give it a little more shape and declared it done.


Sunday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 089
Fancy a book of tangle patterns? Neil Burley wants to know if he should publish his.
From Tile to ZIA

Tutorials
Frog Dog Studio-Molding with PVA Glue
DIY Japanese New Year's Postcards
Mixed-Media Jewelry: 5 Free Found Object, Steampunk, and Resin Jewelry Ideas-free download
Tutorial--An Altered Box

Giveaways
Samsung Galaxy Giveaway at Bella Crafts Quarterly
Walnut Hollow and Ice Resin team up for a Blog Hop
Friday Giveaway: 3-month OHDEERME Embellishment Kit subscription

Miscellaneous
Free Vintage Images: Wildlife - Deer and Chalkboard Fox

Journal52: Week 4 Prompt: Building Character

It isn't too late to join the group.  You can use the prompts & techniques and journal privately, just for yourself, or join the groups on Facebook and Flickr and share.  No pressure to keep up, and best of all it's FREE!

The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle Library Demo Part 1
How to draw JESSICUP
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #158
Tangle Patterns: Tangle Refresher 69

Tutorial
Art Lesson: The Face of a Cow
How to Draw Clothing Textures
MIXED MEDIA TUTORIAL 

Giveaways
GIVEAWAY: TECHNIQUE TOOLBOX ONLINE CLASS WITH CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
BasicGrey online class giveaway
Win a copy of Sentiment Stamps Say It All in Stamp It! Techniques, Vol. 2
Smash Smart Style Folio and Grab Bag giveaway

The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Time And Relative Dimension In Space with Frog Dog Studio (aka T.A.R.D.I.S)

Oh, I'm a Doctor Who fan, don't ya know.  So, I was really excited when I was asked to do a guest post for Frog Dog Studio, and discovered a wooden mini-album in my kit.  It was shaped...just like a old-time English phone booth!

Check out today's Frog Dog Studio blog to see how I decorated my very own T.A.R.D.I.S!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 01 - Up, Up, and Away!

I've joined a free year-long journal prompt group, Journal52, run by Chelle Stein.  Even as I joined it, I cringed a bit because I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up.  It's already been a busy year, and it doesn't look like it is going to ease up anytime soon.

But that's a problem we all have, isn't it? So I decided on some ground rules.

Rule 1:  No fretting.  Even if I can't keep up with the weekly prompts and even if I break my own rules.
Rule 2:  K.I.S.S. --Keep It Simple, Stupid.  Not necessarily a simple result, but simple techniques that are quick and easy to do.
Rule 3:  No planning.  This is going to be a slapdash, take 5 minutes to glue down some collage or doodle some lines.
Rule 4:  No inner critic allowed.  What I get is what I get.  I'm not competing with myself or anyone else. This journal is to be an exploration and fun. Period.
Rule 5:  Remember Rule 2 and quit making rules!

Prompt 01 was 'Up, Up and Away!'  My page was done over a two-week period, 5-10 minutes at a time.  I used Cyan, Magenta and Yellow acrylic paint for a background.  Bits of sheet music were glued down pretty much at random.  The bird was done collaging decopatch papers and then drawing over it with gellyroll pens.  The tangles were all done with gellyroll pens.


Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
The Bug Ball [ZENTANGLE STOP MOTION]-video
How to draw tanglepattern Yin Cut

The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Tangle Library Demo Part 1

Tutorial
Paper Bug Tutorial with DecoArt
Liquitex Acrylic ink How to- Video
Secret to painting draped fabric
{Project} Wednesday: Embossing Paste & Stencils

Giveaways
Stencil Giveaway Day 5
Jetpens giveaway-Tomoe River Paper, Sailor Reglus Fountain Pen & Pack of 12 Ink Cartridges
Silhouette Tote Promo + Portrait Giveaway
Art Journal Collage Sheet Giveaway and New Workshop Giveaway
Enter to Win a PenChalet Gift Card


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review of the Pèlerin Samarkand Rom Travel Journal #LamaLi #TravelJournal

Lamali Carnet de voyage Pèlerin Samarkand Rom


Wow! That name is a mouthful, but this is a beautiful journal deserving of a grand name.  According to my browser's translator, the English name for this would be the Pilgrim Travel journal.

A friend of mine, Robin, recently visited France, and she brought this to me as a Christmas gift.  Various things have kept us apart and only yesterday did we have a chance to exchange gifts.

This is possibly the most amazing journal I have (and that's saying something), so I decided to sneak in a quick review, although I haven't had the chance to do much with the journal yet.

The bad thing is that I believe it is not available in the U.S. or Canada.  Possibly it can only be found in France.  Everything I found on the internet was French.

Look & Feel
I couldn't find much information, and everything is in French, so I'm relying on translators--always a tricky thing.  I can't confirm it, but I know that most, if not all Lama Li journals are made with lokta paper (a paper handmade in Nepal), so I'm assuming this one is as well.  The book is very different than anything I've seen and difficult to describe.  I hope, with the pictures I can capture it for you.

Size: 16 x 21 cm/6.3 x 8.3 inches
Cover: Handmade cardstock with flap.  There are also two fold-over sheets inside the journal that flap over and become part of the cover, or they can be used to fold-over and create sections within the book.


Binding: Sewn signatures bound to the cover with a red silk ribbon.  The ribbon wraps around each signature to hold it in.


Paper: There are five different kinds and sizes of handmade paper (six if you count the teal paper used for the fold over section holder).


I couldn't get the texture to show up well in either scan or photo, but the first is a lightweight, semi-translucent and fibrous paper with some inclusions.  The color is a natural off-white. It is torn on two edges and just screams handmade.









The second paper is not as yellow as it shows on my screen.  It resembles manila cardstock but is much lighter and softer.  There are no fibers or inclusions. The edges are all cut square.








The third paper is heavier than the first two, but has the same kind of fibers running through it as the first.  There are only 10 pages of this in the journal, and they serve as an effective contrast. The edges are cut square.







The fourth paper is a thin, white stock with a harder surface.  I can't feel the texture, but there is a faint linen-like pattern running through the weave.  There are no fibers or inclusions.  Edges are cut square.







The fifth paper is the heaviest and softest.  It has fibers and inclusions, but less so than the other fibrous papers.  It also has a linen-like imprint that you can feel, though it isn't deep. All the edges are hand torn.





Extras: Red Silk Ribbon fastening and leather amulet with pearl and bell.



Performance
I haven't had the chance to play with the journal much, but I knew if I didn't do this review now, I wouldn't get the chance for quite some time.

Over all, these are papers with 'character'.  They are hand made, with lumps and uneven weave in some places, though not as much so as I've seen with other hand made paper.

I'm going to guess the papers are not fountain pen friendly.  I'm sure the ink would feather on at least some of the papers.  I believe pencil and color pencil would work well though the color would not go down evenly.  Watercolor might be possible, but the paper would absorb it quickly so washes wouldn't move.

But these are such beautiful papers that they will lend elegance to almost any medium.  They challenge you--they do.  But they also inspire by their very nature, and give you effects you couldn't achieve with other papers. (I base this off of my experience with other Lami li lokta journals - I have several.).

The book lies flat, but has spring, so you have to hold it down as you work.  You need to decide what to do with the silk ribbon and amulet so that it doesn't catch on things or get in your way.

I'm on a mixed media kick and I was working on a project for another review.  I had some pieces left, and since the technique is easy and quick, I decided to give it a try in this journal.

I found this technique in a book called 'Flavor for Mixed Media: A Feast of Techniques for Texture, Color and Layers'  by Mary Beth Shaw.  It's a fun way to test out triads. You choose three primary colors, a red, a blue, and a yellow.  You paint squares with each color, overlapping, but keeping some areas pure.  This gives you a feel for how the colors work together and what colors (and what mud) they'll make.  You continue overlapping until the page is entirely covered.

Afterwards, you cut your painting into small squares, and glue the squares onto another piece of paper.  It isn't a puzzle.  You don't try to match up the squares.  The fun is seeing what you get gluing them down at random.

It creates a surprisingly strong appearance.


I chose one of the spreads where I had two kinds of paper, using a glue stick to glue the pieces down.  Then I went over the complete spread with Mixed Media adhesive.  This will give me an even surface to work on if I decide to add to this later.

Both papers held up well to the adhesives and the weight of the glued pieces.  The ivory paper (#2 above) shows the white of the squares on the back, and has a slight dimpling along the rows.  The black paper has no buckling, curling or dimpling at all.  It held up extremely well.

I'm going to try and stay with projects that will not cover the page entirely and will use the paper itself to enhance whatever is done.

Overall
This is a unique journal, and a feast for the eyes and to the touch.  Even without writing, drawing or embellishment of any kind, it still draws you to open it and examine each page.  You could put this journal on a coffee table, without adding to it at all, and everyone who saw it would pick it up and fall in love.

Actually using it has challenges, as I've mentioned above.  If you approach this as a journal for flawless writing, perfect drawings and specific techniques you'll be frustrated.  If you experiment, celebrate the textures, and learn how each paper works, you'll have a treasure beyond compare.

This is my favorite kind of journal.  Thank you so much, Robin.  You know me so well!

While I'm here, I want to show you the beautiful tile she made for me, as well.  It is done with alcohol inks and is gorgeous!



Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Zentangle
Tangle Pattern Zantis
Tangle Pattern Coroline

The Tangle Library App for iOS is out! Today starts a two-week launch promotion of 60% off the normal price. For US customers the app will cost $1.99 instead of the normal $4.99.  For more information, check out the app's Facebook page and website.

Tutorials
Shading Cylindrical Objects with Copic Markers
Flower Making with Trims and Embellishments-video
Stamp It! Techniques Week – Resist Stamping is RAD
Colourful notebooks with DecoArt acrylics

Giveaways
Stencil Giveaway Day 4
Brand new Jillibean Soup inspiration and a little "gem" of a giveaway
Original Zentangle painting giveaway

Ginger Horse #ZentangleInspiredArt #FountainPen #PenAndInk

You know how sometimes a work just fights you while you're trying to draw it?  I had an idea tickling my brain, a desire to combine styl...