Inspiration from Journal Fodder 365

I love this product: Dylusions Journal book. It has thick paper pages and it’s good sized. The only minus is that I had to order it online and as it’s pretty heavy the postage was high.


130714cWhen I got my empty book I knew it would be perfect with another product: an art journaling guide called Journal Fodder 365.

I have many art journaling books, too many! I honestly regret buying some – but not this one! I love how it balances between the sketchy style and details. It shows the essence of art journaling by giving tips for writing, illustrations and inspiration.

I also love how structured this book is. I like order and find many art journaling books a big mess but this one is packed with information and idea in well-organized manner. And it still looks artistic and beautiful!

Here’s another page inspired by the book. A little detail that I like here most is the photo from my watercolors. I printed it on a sheet of paper that I had painted with watercolors first and I think it looks so much better than if I had used white paper instead!


With Journal Fodder 365 I will continue using more photos in my art journals.

Art Journaling about Imagination

There's a Garden, an art journal page in a Smash book

Here’s a page from my Smash book that I use as an art journal. I have picked a phrase from a Finnish reggae artist, Jukka Poika. He has a song called Potentiaalii (“Potential”). This is the best part of the song: “There’s a garden somewhere in the desert of your mind, where everything is possible and nothing is certain.”

I think that’s exactly what creativity can offer us. The only limit is our imagination. When art journaling I sometimes document, but I also dream. I am in the garden of my desert and I always feel happy and content there.

Using Hand Decorated Papers in Scrapbook Pages

“The golden door is open” says this page. I feel like I have entered the new level of scrapbooking when I have increased the amount of handmade elements, especially hand decorated papers.The Golden Door, a scrapbook page using handdecorated papers

I wonder why store-bought papers are so popular. Using my own papers is so inspiring. Here’s “Empty Scenes”.Empty Scenes, a scrapbook page using handdecorated papers

In this page I have used odd leftover letter stickers to create patterned background area in the bottom of the page. Did not cost anything but with some gesso and acrylics they got a new look.
Leftovers, a scrapbook page using handdecorated papers

With hand decorated papers I have begun to pick themes that I never did before. Like this one about Sibelius’s Finlandia hymn, my aunt and being a Finn.
I Miss Her and The World She Represented, a scrapbook page using handdecorated papers

Inspired by Mark Rothko

I have some close friends and relatives who have their birthday in May. I came with this idea of Mark Rothko inspired greeting cards when I thought: What would I give them if I had all the money in the world. And I immediately knew the answer: Mark Rothko paintings! Not as genious as the originals of course but still I think this is a fun idea.

Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

Make your own Mark Rothko inspired card!

1) Paint the borders of the cardstock with acrylic paint.Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

2) Fill the center with watercolors. Paint rectangular areas using multiple shades.Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

3) Strengthen the watercolors and create layers with  color pencils.Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

4) Attach your artwork to the card base. If you like you can sew zigzag around the edges to add detailing.Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

You can also use acrylic paints only. In the first row you can see my all-acrylic creations and in the second row are the cards that combine acrylics, watercolors and color pencils.Mark Rothko inspired postcards. By Peony and Parakeet.

Mark Rothko & abstracts with colored pencils:  Buy the e-book Coloring Freely!

How to Create Tissue Paper Collage

Here’s what I did today: the collage of spring flowers using tissue papers!

A tissue paper collage of spring flowers by Peony and Parakeet

The idea for the tissue paper collage came from a visual arts teacher who sent me an email asking if I had any ideas about creating art using tissue papers and markers. I had some tissue paper in the storage and when I went to fetch them several ideas came to my mind.

Decorating Tissue Papers

As I love to make my own collage elements I began with decorating the tissue papers. Alcohol based markers are best for the job. I used PITT pens but any markers will do really. You can also use color pencils if you do not have any markers. It is just a bit easier to draw with the markers on the thin tissue paper than with sharp pencils.

The great thing in tissue paper is that you can use both sides and create interesting layers. Create color motifs on one side (step 1), then turn the paper and do the same there (step 2). I always use various thicknesses of pens as it makes the decoration more interesting. You can add finer details in both sides (steps 3 and 4). This way you have created a paper that you can use either side up in your artwork.

If you have alcohol inks, they add color and interest, especially when layered. White pens or correction pens can be used for the decoration too.

Finally you’ll have something quite different from the original solid colored papers! The actual making of a collage can now begin.

Tissue Paper Collage

You can use plain white paper as a background but I could not do that. I am too much of a color person. I grabbed sone of my handmade background papers. This backgound is made using acrylics, stencils and color mists but you can use any techniques for the background. I have some instructions for the backgrounds: see a patterned paper with layers or the frugal version using less supplies.

 Creating a tissue paper collage

Cut the papers to small pieces. Grab some white paper (I used thin marker paper) and cut small pices of that too (image 1). Then glue the pieces together to create small clusters (image 2). Use the white paper between layers to create color variation and lighter shades. I always use matte gel medium to glue the elements together (image 3). If you do not have gel medium, you can use PVC glue with some water. But if you make collages or scrapbook the matte gel medium is a good investment. After glueing the elements create new details with markers and color pencils (image 4).

Tissue paper collage, a detail.Here’s a detail of the finished tissue paper collage. Looks like there are a lots of layers even if the structure is fairly simple. When creating this also some other ideas came to my mind. Maybe I will return to my tissue paper stash some other time to try those. What I represented here does not require wide range of materials.

Many times creativity is the best material you have. I strongly believe that even if there are so beautiful papers in the craft stores, the best papers are those you create yourself!

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Subconscious Art

Easter Flowers, a collage

I made this handdrawn collage yesterday when making background papers with my crafting friends. I started with black paper and added some gesso in the background for lighter areas.

I call it subconscious art when I sit with pens and paper and do not think too much of what I am doing. This time it was spring flowers, coming easter and celebrating the spring that has finally entered Finland.

TulipsI think I was already seeing these tulip sprouts blooming. We planted about 80 tulips in the autumn and I am so looking forward seeing them all in bloom!


Scrapbooking News

Investment, a scrapbooking page about an old type writer

I attended the Finnish Scrapbooker of the Year competition with this layout. It is about an old typewriter that my parents bought with part payments. My father was a policeman and needed the machine to type the investigation reports. I also wrote about how different the machines are nowadays and how it all relates to me.

I managed to get to the final! There are 6 of us. There is a about 4 weeks to make a mini album for the final judging. The theme is “A day of somenone’s life” and some scrapbooking supplies were sent to us. I took all the photos yesterday. The weather was great and it was Saturday so it wasn’t too stressful. Furthermore it was my beagle’s 1 year anniversary!

Me and my beagle Stella

This photo is taken by my husband. I think Stella looks very content. And yes, I am happy too, there’s a lot of work with a puppy but now it’s getting a bit easier once she’s older. I think she is still as cute as a puppy though!

I heard that Google reader is retiring and that must be a reason that I have got new followers through Bloglovin.
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Homemade Happiness

Fabric Pattern Homemade
This is my new fabric pattern called “Homemade”. The happiness really starts from home and appreciating everything you already have.

130310fA stool that I am proud of

Our house is filled with little items that me or my husband have made. This year they have been especially important for me. Maybe because the winter has been so long and dark, with very few sunny days.

This stool is one of the little suns of our home. It has been made by my skillful husband. Every time I see it, I observe it’s brilliant structure and feel proud for his accomplishment.

Smash book continues

I have continued filling my Smash book with art journaling.


I do not mind the pages with preprinted assignments. They challenge me to get creative. Here I have expressed how I often see the images or colors when using my other senses.


Art journal page, a house with doorGood Distractions

The world is sometimes too full of visual distractions for me! But they can be beneficial too. The yellow that I see when  entering our home really makes me forget most of my worries.

I made a page about it and created a fantasy image of a house. It was so fun to make. What I love about art journaling is that everything can be taken as lightly or seriously as I want.

Recommend: Journal Fodder

I have bought a new art journal. It’s Dylusions journal with super thick pages. And I have also bought a new book: Journal Fodder. It is a great and detailed book about art journaling. The book includes techniques, prompts, ideas and is well structured. I love the combination of creativity and systemacy of it. See more information at the website of the authors: Journal Fodder Junkies Needless to say: will be spending a lot of time with art journaling this spring!

Smash Book or Hand-Made Journal?

Art Journal page, traveling, Smash book

I have now used my pink Smash book as an art journal for so long that I can summarize my experiences of using it as an art journal. During the time I have used my book, I have noticed that other brands too have published similar kind of books with pre-decorated pages. I am certain that many are tempted to buy them but wonder if they really work as art journals.

Good Jumpstart

I started my “pretty art journal” about a year ago. I also have other art journals but I have noticed that I grab this one more than others. I think that one reason is that it offers easy jumpstarts for doodling and writing. Sometimes they can be annoying.  Like the page with a map background, seen above. I never liked that spread until a few days ago when I wanted to journal about the places that I want to visit. The background was perfect for the theme.

Art journal page, a detailArt journaling is very difficult to commercialize from start to finish. It’s creativity and self-expression that matter, not the products used. But there’s a great deal of talk about blank page syndrome and all the art journal guides list tips for how to get started. I think that Smash book like journals can offer the easy starting point for many. I am especially fond of the thing that I can start to decorate a page and leave it unfinished for a while. With decorated paper in the background, it looks fine. I often add one of two details here and there and then finish the pages later.

All in all, I think that Smash book can work as an art journal but I also think that if you really want the book to look more personal, use a blank book or make one yourself.

Hand-Made Journal

Hand-made journal

This one is my favorite art journal. A hand-made journal from start to finish. It’s my own guide for creative living. “Rules and regulations,” it says!

It documents my philosophy for creating and living. Could not use Smash book here!

I end this blog post with these noble statements, feel free to borrow any!

Hand-made journal, art journal page, rules and regulations