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Monday, 8 June 2015

June Week Two : Stencils & Masks

Stencils and masks are one of my most loved tools. They are currently very fashionable in the art and craft world so there are as many designs as you can imagine available commercially. For the die-hard DIY'er, there is nothing more satisfying than cutting your own unique stencil, either from Mylar, overhead transparency or recycled plastic packaging.  
Many of the stencils I use regularly came straight from the recycle bin

Let’s start with how to make our own Stencils and Masks:

Lindsay the Frugal Crafter shows how to use Hot Glue:

Recycled Rubbish stencils from Jennibellie:


Julie Fei-Fan Balzer shares seven different ways to repurpose trash into tools and includes how to make a silhouette mask:

Want ideas on different ways to use these tools? They can be used with just about every medium you have! To demonstrate the versatility, here are three videos, all by Joggles:


I hope you have fun trying out some of these techniques

Monday, 1 June 2015

June Week One: Doodles

Let's incorporate animals into our pages this month. A portrait of your furry, feathery or finned friend; your spirit animal; mythical monsters, they are all possibilities to kickstart a great page.

Doodling, Zentangle and Mandala

A little doodling can go a long way. It is art journalling stripped down to the bare bones: a black pen and a piece of paper. It can be added as detail to a page, or stand on its own as the entire design. Think of a simple hand drawn page border or an entire page of detailed patterns. 

Like everything, the most stunning and intricate designs represent hours and hours of practice. It is harder than it first seems, but practiced regularly (the key to it all) it is easy to master. 


I have found that most people who practice the art of Doodling in its many forms agree on two things. The best tools are:
  1. Smooth paper
  2. A black pen with a fine tip. Micron pens are by far the most popular, but use what you have.
I am going to be using a spiral bound Visual Diary/Sketch book with 110gsm paper (I think the brand is Canson) and a Stabilo felt tipped "fineliner" pen to practice my doodling.

If you are adding doodling over the top of acrylic paint, you will need to use a paint pen. DO NOT use a Copic, Sharpie or other permanent marker, the solvent or alcohol will reactivate the acrylic paint, clog the marker and make it unusable.Not a good feeling to ruin a brand new pen that cost $5.


In Art Journalling, doodling can be spontaneous mark making, used to add detail and definition to a page, or deliberate patterns combined to create texture, or fill a space. The official Wiki definition is:

A doodle is a drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.


About Zentangle®

Zentangle ® is a brand (a Registered Trademark) that has become synonymous with doodling. 
All Zentangles are doodles, but not all doodles are Zentangles.
Definition from WikiHow:
 A Zentangle is an abstract drawing created using repetitive patterns according to the trademarked Zentangle Method.

The method applies the principles of meditation and mindfulness to drawing designs on a 3.5" square of paper. There are many books available on this particular style of doodling.


Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल) means 'circle' in the Sanskrit language, and mandala art refers to symbols that are drawn, sketched or painted in a circular frame.

Whatever you want to call your drawings, a good idea is to create a simple reference sheet of marks and patterns that you can browse when your brain doesn't want to cooperate. Here are some ideas: