Saturday, August 1, 2015


Our prompt this week at Artful Journeys is to "go organic."  Our original line of thinking was to use real organic materials but I just wasn't feeling it at first and I think my Muse has perhaps gone on holiday. And besides all that, everything in my yard is getting brown and crispy. It is our hottest time of the year and I am no gardener.  For heaven's sakes, I can kill silk plants!

So, I created this first spread Friday night after my weekly dinner date with the hubs. I had wandered around in the yard and just couldn't seem to find anything I felt like was suitable that was growing, er.... dying.

I sat down with my Dylusions journal and let the page just happen "organically".  We've had a bit of a stressful week, and friends and friendships are definitely on the forefront of my mind and how important those relationships are.  So this little idea started in the back of my head.

I started by stamping across the bottom with my large Dylusions curly-q stamp (not sure what the official name of it is, but I love that stamp!)  Then I used a large tree stencil and applied lightweight spackling through the stencil and let it dry.  In hindsight, I should have finished the background colors first, but oh well, right?  I then used a small flat brush and applied some Liquitex acrylic in a light brown to the trunk and limbs.  I used a large foam sun stamp in the corner and filled the page with Liquitex Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue and added some embellishments with the light sepia.  I then proceeded to use some Dylusions Distress ink in Orange to make some dots all over the tree. I liked how that was going, so I opened up a Quin Magenta and a Neon Pink and made some more random dots on the tree using my index finger.  So freeing to paint with our hands, isn't it?

I also applied other random dots in the lower margin and using some Spring green, added leaves and stems everywhere.  I tried a couple of different techniques coloring in the curly-q's at the bottom, including a baby wipe (epic fail), finger painting (fail) Dylusions Inks - sprayed (fail) and NeoColor II's.  Obviously I had much more control with the NeoColors and will likely be making some use of some gesso later and redoing the bottom part.  But for now it just has to do.

My favorite part is the tree.  I will we had "feel-a-vision".  I love the way the lightweight spackle works through a stencil.  Something so fun about feeling that texture.

Lettering with a 0 fine liner brush and black acrylic paint.  My friends are the flowers in my life. And I'm so glad you're planted where you are.

Then this morning, Saturday, I got to worrying about not really following along with the prompt in a closer sort of fashion. I went outside with my coffee to the front porch and stood there looking around.  Would my neighbor mind if I went and snagged some stuff from her flower beds?  Probably. My poor flower beds are pitiful. Dry. Dying. Tired looking.  I went to the back deck. Had a look through the garden -- which is barely hanging on. Nothing good there. The Basil looks good, but I was definitely uninspired by that.

Back to the front.  We have this stand of 100+ foot Sycamore trees across the front of our yard. The leaves are generally HUGE.  Time for a closer inspection.  Oh, look!  Some baby leaves...... that could work.  And Sycamore tree leaves have an interesting shape -- so I selected several and returned to my dining table and fixed a fresh cup of my favorite elixir.

Turn the page in the Dylusions journal.  I picked up my Dylusions acrylic tubs in Turquoise and Bubblegum Pink and added paint all over everywhere.  I added some stamps.  Hated all that. Out comes the gesso. Same colors, different application this time with a brush and some babywipes.  That worked better.

I was sent this great face image on deli paper in happy mail some time back -- sorry I cannot remember who shared it with me.  I grabbed that and played with it on the page, laying the leaves here and there.  I felt like those leaves would make a great "crown" and so I went with that.  Leaves and face image were applied to the page with Faber Castel Gel Medium, and the leaves were given another coat with some DIY Mod Podge.  I had previously used this with another leaf project over a year ago and the leaves are still soft and green.  Nobody wants brown crumply leaves in their journal, right?

I grabbed up some Liquid Pearls in Peacock and a bottle of Scribbles in gold metallic and added the veins and outlined the leaves.  That "crown" needed some sort of edging so with the Scribbles I created the crown base and added jewels there and on the tips of the leaves. She looks pretty good, huh?  The flash on my camera made the deli paper show up more, but in natural light, it just seems to blend in perfectly.

Those big Sycamore trees were still in my mind. More digging through happy mail and I found these beautiful papers sent to me by Kay Theuerkauf in Australia.  I lettered a "thought" on these two papers with a black Sakura Gelly pen, adhered to the page with Gel Medium and added the Queen Elizabeth Australian stamp just for fun. Out lined with a black china marker.

In case you can't read it --

"As she sat in the shade of the old Sycamore tree, she fashioned herself a crown.  She felt like Queen of the Earth.  And it was so."

The last leaf I picked was added to the corner of the page and tarted up like the crown.  And lastly, I grabbed some Liquitex Neon Green and a small circle stencil and added some additional paint and called it good.

And here is the finished spread.  More in tune with what we originally had in mind.  I feel better about it.  It was fun playing with those leaves after all.  Did I noodge my Muse to wakefulness?

Thanks for stopping by, and have an artful week.  Be sure and show us how you interpret our prompt this week, and don't forget to stop by and see what Melody, Shana and Lynn have created!



  1. I loved both of your spreads and I totally agree with your friendship message.
    Nice job as usual Ms. Betty

  2. Fantastic post and both your spreads were great!

  3. Great journaling, you really need to post more of your work over on the Mixing It Up group! BTW, my lawn is brown and crispy too, although I have tried to keep the flower beds from drying out, we really need some rain to help out!

  4. Wonderful sentiment in both spreads Betty! I really like the Queen of the Earth page. What a great image to work with.