Swimming Through Algae: Mixed Media Fabric Journal

Swimming Through Algae

Lately, our lives have been chaotic and I feel as though we are swimming through algae. Tangled up and not going anywhere. That is, anywhere that we can see. We just remodeled a bathroom downstairs. My hubby installed the toilet Saturday evening and then Sunday morning the downstairs stunk of pee. Looks like we need a extra thick wax seal around the toilet. And then Saturday evening I found wet carpet downstairs followed by the discovery of water damage and mold growth in my crafting area! On the bright side I get a whole new crafting space but that is only after we discover where the water is coming from and then my craft spot will be out of commission for possibly months. And my littlest man has a ear infection despite an Ear Tube placement back in February. My hubby is still looking for a job (he gets laid off in December) and I am now a weekly visitor at the chiropractor’s office. I left a few things out but you get the general idea.

I am so thankful to God that these trial and testing periods don’t last forever. That by no means diminishes the fact that it is very difficult while going through these periods but it is encouraging to know that it is only for a season. Some seasons seem longer than others don’t they?

Despite these bumps in the road, I am blessed to be going through this with the people I love and a God who cares about me. But I am not going to lie, I am ready to get through the algae fields and into the clean, open waters of security again.

So, onto the journal page.

Creating the Journal Page

I have another page in my ‘Asiatic Dynasty‘ Fabric Art Journal to share. In case you missed them you can check out my Cover, It’s All In the Hair Layout, and True North Layout.


This was my last layout to be completed. I finished the background but when I went to embellish with stamps and such I couldn’t find anything I liked. I worked on it on several different occasions and each time I came away disappointed. I figured the problem was the background so I tweaked a few things and WA LA…it came together. I love when that happens!

A Few Details

I used a lot of PaperArtsy stamps and paints. The journal page was made first and then machine stitched to a fabric base.

What do you do with failed projects/attempts?

Thanks for stopping!


Challenges Entered:

Aall and Create ITAC Challenge 2: Asia   (Motifs inspired by Mandalas, geometric shapes, tiles, Calligraphy, Asian flowers in the circle motif and fabric page)

Craft Stamper: Anything Goes August

Mixed Media World: #28 AMMG With a Twist (Mood board)


Memories Make You Rich : Mixed Media Art Assemblage

Memories Make you Rich

My hubby is a financial blogger over at CYInnovations so we discuss money all the time with our children present. In fact, my boys love Dave Ramsey. They have his slogan and the radio show theme song memorized. That is usually what my youngest boy is humming while he washes dishes. So, last evening my 9 year old asked my husband if we were rich. The conversation went a little like this-

9 y.o.- “Daddy, are you rich?”

Daddy– “Yes,” Pause “I have a warm house, a job, plenty of food and 3 beautiful children.”

I was sitting at my craft table and I just teared up. How true these words are! It is not necessarily money that can define wealth but that our basic needs are met and the people that we love and make memories with are around us on a daily basis.

It is good to teach our kids that money isn’t everything. My hubby has the kids writing a upcoming blog post on their money views and they both drew pictures to illustrate their ideas. I’ll let you know when it goes up so you can check it out.

Meanwhile, I’ll give you the short version of my assemblage process.


Creating the Assemblage

Getting Started

To start off, my box is recycled from a Christmas present. I liked the shallow depth and the rectangular shape of the box. For some reason I struggle with layout in square shaped boxes.  I added a layer of gesso and then Black Soot Distress Paint. I covered the inside with patterned paper and then started adding texture.

The Texture

I applied texture paste through my favorite Stencil Girl Eye Lattice Stencil. I mixed paint into my texture paste and came out with a peach color. Not what I was going for but oh well. After the paste dried, I went over some of the texture and the box with blue paint.

The Inside

Using a smaller box as a platform I covered it in paper using the same texture paste/stencil method as the side of the box. I chose a vintage jewelry pendant as the focal point. Patina Paints were used to color a few of the metal objects.

A tag is in the background framing the box along with some black gauze-like fabric.

Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Altered Eclectics: Anything Goes

Scrapi-Wyzwaniowo: Home Decor

13arts: Abstract Art

It’s All In the Hair: A Fabric Art Journal Layout


It’s All In the Hair

While looking at the stamped image on my journal page, I was reminded of Hair. This Asian girl has fabulous, silky spiked hair. My hair is anything but fabulous. When that humidity hits, my hair looks like someone held a balloon to my head and rubbed all the ‘fly-aways.’ By ‘fly-aways I mean those short, 1 inch pieces that won’t stay down despite using every hair product available with the exception of Krazy Glue. I know it is probably a girl- thing or maybe just a me- thing but I sit in church and look at the backs of peoples heads and wonder how their hair looks so smooth and frizz-less at 9:30 on a Sunday morning in the heat of summer.

To be honest, I am lazy when it comes to hair care. I hate wasting precious time on  hair. I would rather be reading, crafting or eating…none of which I can do while washing, blow drying or curling my hair. And to top it off I wash my hair only twice a week! I have considered trying the ‘No Poo’ method to limit my chemicals use and to save time and money. Have any of you every tried this?

What is your hair-care routine?

Creating the Journal Page

This layout is part of my new Fabric Art Journal entitled, “Asiatic Dynasty” featuring Lynne Perrella’s Asian stamp collection from PaperArtsy.  You can see the cover, my first layout and read about the inspiration behind the project HERE. You can view my second layout HERE.

In the previous posts I talk a little more about how I made the pages but for the basics I used Kraft paper as my base. I then added my gesso, paints, stenciling, embellishments and stamping. Lastly, my page was stitched onto a fabric page and added to my fabric Journal.

Fun and easy! Have you ever attempted a fabric book/Journal? I would love to see it. Leave a link in the comments so I can check it out!



Challenges Entered:

13 Arts: Abstract Art

The Artistic Stamper: August Anything Goes

Creative Artiste: Anything Goes #29

Altered Eclectics: Anything Goes

PaperArtsy Guest Post and a Journal Layout

Guest Post At PaperArtsy

I am over at PaperArtsy today, sharing a fabric book that I made for our book theme. Above is a sneak peek of the outside of the book. You can also see a inside page layout that I will not be sharing here on my blog. It has all sorts of fun details so go take a look.

Creating The Inside Layout

Here is one of the layouts from the inside of my fabric book/journal. The entire book was made using Lynne Perrella Stamps and Seth Apter Paints.

I kept all the stamps white and used color and texture in the background to make the stamps the focal point.

My background is kraft paper covered in gesso, paints and stamping. I stitched around the edges to attach the pages to my fabric base.

And that is it. I am keeping it pretty simple today. Don’t forget to stop by the PaperArtsy Blog to see my Fabric book and a layout.

Challenges Entered:

More Mixed Media Challenge: Optional Brights











New Discoveries?: Art Journal Layout

Discovering New Things

‘One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making new discoveries.’

While I love the concept of this quote, I don’t fall into this category. But I remember my best friend growing up embodied this quote perfectly. Her mom used to trick us into cleaning my friends bedroom before we were allowed to do something fun. Her mom later confessed that she knew I enjoyed cleaning and that the only time she could get my friend to clean her room was when I was over. When we would clean her room we would find money stashed between the bed, in random boxes and stuffed in envelopes. I always was amazed how each time we cleaned she found money. I would say, “Why doesn’t this ever happen to me? I want to find money.” Well, it was because I was organized and I knew where everything was in my room.

So, even though it may seem like being disorganized leads to random treasure hunts that turn up lost items, I still think that being organized costs you less in the end. No more disappointment that that $100 gift card is expired.

Creating The Journal Layout

For this layout, I continued with the steampunk theme. My base is a paper grocery bag that has been layered with book paper and gesso. I stenciled with texture paste in the background. My stamps are from Lost Coast Designs, Tim Holtz, PaperArtsy and & 7 Gypsies. My background is sprayed using Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays (Cockle Bells Coral, French Lilac Violet).

Related Steampunk Journal Pages: The Distant Wanderer, Its All Perspective, Plate IX, Steampunk  Altered Book,

Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Lindy’s Stamp Gang: August Challenge (Spray Links above)

Lost Coast Portal to Creativity: #39 Stenciled Background

Frilly and Funkie: Read Any Good Books Lately? (book paper)

SanDee & Amelie’s Steampunk Challenge: Special Steampunk Challenge


Mixed Media Monthly: Inspiration Photo (Pink & Purple Flowers)

Art Journal Journey: Poetry In Motion

It’s A Party Everyday: Mixed Media Mail Art

Party Everyday

Party Everyday. Something we rarely do in our house. I love the idea of throwing parties but all the work involved is a turnoff.  When we lived in New York we had friends that threw a themed party every summer. We all dressed up and ate food that fit the theme. It was the event of the summer. I say ‘event of the summer’ because, well…we don’t get out much. We planned our costumes with anticipation and talked about it for months. Most of all, the kids had a blast! Our kids don’t remember much about our life in NY but they do remember those parties.

Once my hubby gets a job and we pay our house off, I love the idea of starting up this Summer Event tradition. As children get older it becomes more difficult to get them excited about family centered activities. I would even let my kids pick the theme if it means they want to be involved.

So, when I see the stamped siblings in my mail art, it reminds me of a family where the mom and dad just announced, “Let’s have some family bonding time.”

Related Mail Art Posts: ‘Party Like a Grandma’ Mail Art ; Harmony Mail Art

Artistic Outpost: Steampunk Mail Art ; I Am Roses inspired Mail Art


Creating Mail Art

Using an old envelope as a base, I covered the envelope with book paper. I used texture paste in the background with a Stencil Girl stencil. Tim Holtz chipboard pieces in the background have been covered in gesso and stamped. I used Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies stamps as embellishments.

Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Creative Artiste Challenge: #29 Anything Goes Mixed Media

Altered Eclectics: August Challenge

Frilly and Funkie: Read Any Good Books Lately?

Try it On Tuesday: Mail Art


Tour My Ancient Egyptian Papyrus Collection

History of Papyrus

For those of you who do not know what papyrus is it is a plant that grows in the wetlands of Egypt and throughout the Mediterranean region. The pith of the plant is sliced into pieces, soaked and then laid out to dry. Here is a great video if you are interested in viewing the process. When I was younger, I made papyrus paper  using newspaper sheets to achieve the woven paper effect.

My Papyrus Collection

If you are a blog follower, you probably have noticed that I have a love for ancient Egyptian art and culture. It started when I was younger, although I cannot pinpoint what triggered my interest. Growing up, the above papyrus, gifted by my grandparents from their recent trip to Egypt, hung in my parent’s house. I loved looking at it and dreamed of visiting Egypt someday myself.

Related: Ancient Egyptian Vibes Art Journal Layout & Egyptian Art Journal Page

All of these papyrus are part of my collection. The ones unframed are not on display but hopefully someday soon they will be.

The Egyptian relief below was gifted to me by my Grandmother. It was an item that she purchased on their trip to Egypt.

Lastly, just a small Egyptian bust that I have for decoration.

I know this kind of art is not everyone’s cup of tea but I guess that is what makes us all unique. Do you have any interesting cultural related collections? Or different collections in general? I would love to hear about them.

Related Products for Egyptian Enthusiasts

I thought it would be fun to share a few Egyptian related products over on Amazon that caught my fancy.

How cool is this…you can buy sheets of papyrus paper for crafting or to make your own paintings.

I just love this Papyrus. I may have to add it to my collection.

Isn’t this the coolest shower curtain?
Or this amazing reproduction Cleopatra Chaise
This chair would be a show stopper in my living room 😉

Gardening with Groundhogs and a Man Tag

Gardening with Groundhogs

I thought I would share a view of my garden from my backyard deck. My amazing hubby, over at CY Innovations, put up the fencing and more raised beds for me this past spring. I am growing:

  • red onions
  • sweet potatoes
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • red raspberries
  • basil
  • oregano
  • mint
  • dill
  • peppers
  • cabbages

Last year, my cabbages and tomatoes were eaten by some unknown creature. If you have a garden you know how maddening it can be to pour your time and money into a project just to have some free loader come along and eat all your hard work.

Despite installing new fences and chicken wire around the perimeter, something is still getting in and eating my cabbages. My hubby caught one groundhog in my garden already this year so I installed bird netting around the cabbages. That evil groundhog is now gnawing holes through my bird netting and demolishing my cabbages. There goes my dreams of homemade sauerkraut and dill!

What are your suggestions for keeping out unwanted creatures? I am thinking barbed wire and electricity?!

On a happier note, here is a masculine tag that I created.

Creating The Tag

For the background, I used a Christy Tomlinson Unity Stamp. I embellished the sides of the image with stamps and that is pretty much it. Simple, huh?

Happy weekend!


Plate IX: Art Journal Layout and Some Recent Reads

Recent Reads/to-Read List

I can’t think of much to talk about that goes along with the title of this post, so I thought I would talk about some of the books that I have been reading or am going to read.

Back in February I started reading along with the yearly challenge at our local library. Read 75 books by the end of the year and you get entered to win a $175 gift card to Amazon. We buy everything on Amazon so I thought that was a great incentive.

I love reading but up to this point I have found it difficult to prioritize this into my schedule. You know, kids and life tend to get in the way of snuggling under a blanket with a warm cuppa tea and a good book. Well, it is almost August and I have read 62 fiction/non-fiction books this year minus the cozy blanket. I forgot how addicting reading can be when you find a great author. I guess I proved to myself that reading can be a priority. That just means that something else gets bumped down on the list. At this point in time that happens to be my sewing and maybe a few household chores. 😉

So, here are my recent reads.

A few on my to-read list:

Reading has nothing to do with this journal layout but here it is.

Creating the Journal Layout

I am having so much fun using my new Seth Apter stamps from PaperArtsy! My pages were made using a brown grocery bag.  Of course I used paper scraps, gesso and paint for the background.

To embellish, I used a few stamps from 7 Gypsies and chipboard circles.

This layout will go perfectly in my new steampunk art journal.

Related: In case you missed my other steampunk art journal pages: The Distant Wanderer and It’s All Perspective

Challenges Entered:

Simon Says: You’ve Got the Edge (Doodling around the edge)





It’s All Perspective: Art Journal Layout


I find it amazing how we can all read the same paragraph or hear the same speech and come away with our own, very different perspectives. My husband and I are classic examples.

Just the other day we interpreted a conversation between us very differently. I mean, night and day difference. After much discussion, we realized for us, it is the difference between the male and female brains. My husband doesn’t ever read between the lines. But me on the other hand, I think that may be all I do. I can’t help myself. For example: When someone doesn’t talk to me, I replay my previous encounter and analyze every detail over and over again until I have considered every possible offense that may have occurred. A lot of times, I find out I just misinterpreted the silence. All that needless worry. I can’t tell you how many times this perspective- flaw has gotten me into trouble.

So, it is all a matter of perspective. Are you a in-between the line reader or do you see through black and white glasses?

Creating The Journal Page

Keeping with the perspective theme I think that eye stamp goes perfectly.

My steampunk journal, needed another layout so I pulled out my older Tim Holtz stamps and went to work. I remember browsing though them a month or so ago for a project and by passing them thinking they were old news.

I was wrong.

These stamps are fabulous and I feel as though I just rediscovered them.

My pages are made from paper bags. I added a sheet of vintage book paper before washing the page with gesso and Fresco Finish Paint. I used some washi tape, paper scraps and chipboard to embellish. I tried using some black vintage thread this time around since it seems to be a trend as of late. I really like how it looks against the the contrasting white gesso. A little bit of doodling around the edges, some splashes of color and a few micro watch parts and the page came together.
Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Mixed Media Place: July Challenge

Rubber Dance: (Ribbon, Twine, Thread) July

Scrapki-wyzwaniowo: July Beauty

Altered Eclectics: July Anything Goes

Eclectic Ellapu: Summer Colors



The Distant Wanderer: Art Journal Layout

The Distant Wanderer

This past weekend, my hubby and I did a bit of wandering ourselves in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Originally, we planned to make it a day trip so we could visit the Adams County Irish Festival. After some thought, we changed our minds and made it an overnight trip without the children. Our youngest is a bit over a year and it was our first time leaving her. She did fabulously, thanks to such wonderful grandparents!

It was a very humid and hot weekend but we had fun browsing downtown Gettysburg, some outlets, the battlefield and the Irish Festival. We ate amazing food, listened to tons of Irish Music and enjoyed each others company. Don’t you just love summer?

The title of my journal page reminds me of the care-free activities and trips that we are free to enjoy during summertime.

Creating the Journal Layout

I made this layout for my new art journal. I am working on a name but it will have a steampunk theme. I specifically made it for the Lindy’s July Color Challenge. I used several Lindy’s colors (Sea Mint Green, Long John’s Silver, Golden Sleigh Bells). The background texture was made using my recent favorite stencil by Stencil Girl.

The stamps I used are from the new Seth Apter release over at PaperArtsy. I have been using them a lot lately and I am loving the versatility of these stamps. I used several stamp sets from 7 Gypsies as well.Related Posts: The Book Of Memories and Seth Apter’s New Stamp Release
Challenges Entered:

(I used Gold, Green and Brown- Links above in text)

13 Arts- #56 Create Your Own Background

Frilly And Funkie- In The Good Old Summertime (Favorite thing about Summer is Wandering around while on vacation)

How to Make Petroleum-Free Eucalyptus Chest Rub

 Eucalyptus Chest Rub, Kid Approved

Whenever my kids are sick, I always try to give them something to ease the pain. The worst is when they have a stuffy nose and their little body is struggling to breath. No one likes to see someone they love laboring over something that should come easily.

I started making this Chest Rub for my littles when I became acquainted with alternative/natural medicine.  I wanted something that was Petroleum-free because my children’s safety is important.

My kids love using this chest rub. It is effective, safe and I can use it too! Not only is it is easy and fun to make but it makes you feel as though you can help ease the discomfort of your little ones.  What mommy doesn’t want that?!

How To Make The Eucalyptus Chest Rub

  1. Gather ingredients on Recipe.
  2. I didn’t have Rosemary essential oil so I infused fresh rosemary into my olive oil. (over low heat until the rosemary leaves wilt and turn brown. Strain oil and continue per recipe)
  3. Here are all my butters melted over the stove on low before adding my rosemary infused olive oil
  4. Add infused oil to melted oils and remove from stove
  5. Add in essential oils, stir and then pour into small jars
  6. Label and allow to sit for a few hours to set.

Top Quality VS Average

I get most of my supplies on Amazon although my rosemary was fresh from my indoor rosemary plant. (pictured above) I am not a stickler for top quality products because, lets face it, we are not made of money. If I can give my family a healthier lifestyle without spending top dollar than that is me doing my best. I would love to be able to afford those expensive essential oils that you pay twenty plus dollars per one ounce and treat it like it is liquid gold. You know, licking up the extra drops so it doesn’t get wasted. Ok, I exaggerate. I wouldn’t lick it up but I would certainly feel guilty for every drop that dripped down the side of that bottle.

Have you noticed the new craze is essential oil companies like Young Living and DoTerra. Supposedly, they are the only good essential oils out there. I am all about being healthy and cutting out the chemicals but man, I think these companies are milking the word ‘Organic’ for all it is worth. All essential oils are concentrated plant compounds removed and distilled into liquids form. How can one lavender plant be better quality than another lavender plant?

This is only my opinion. I am sure you all have your own. All I am trying to say is, eat and live healthy, cut the crap out of your diet, and do this to the best of your ability without breaking the bank. Don’t go into debt for that ultimate essential oil collection 😉

Related: One of my favorite Medicine Making books is reviewed HERE. It has a lot of easy home remedies you can make from your garden/yard.

Products Used

The Book of Memories: A Mini Art Journal

A Book Of Memories

Memories…something that we never forget, as least, I hope that is the case. I have so many wonderful things that I want to remember. I wish our memories were like flash backs in the movies- vivid color, crisp images and and the ability to quote a conversation word for word. I for one can remember none of these things. But I recall the feelings and emotions associated with a certain event and that in itself is enough. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all had books filled with our favorite experiences and memories, playing back the event as seen through our eyes? I really want someone to invent that!

Instead, you will have to settle for this mini book I made using some new stamps that I LOVE!

Creating the Mini Art Journal

As I mentioned above, these stamps are newly released by Seth Apter for PaperArtsy. They are so amazing! I feel as though I cannot say this enough. They are full of detail and are the perfect blend of grunge and vintage.

For the Cover, I stamped one of the main images, aged it, colored it and used chipboard to create a cover.

The inside pages were made using white card stock and covered with old book pages. I stained everything using Distress Stains to create an aged page. All the stamped images and background stamps are from Seth’s new sets. You can see my release project for Seth new stamps HERE. Also, I just completed a art journal centered around my all-time favorite drink, TEA! It is called Splashes of Tea.

Thanks for Stopping by!


Paper Crafting MagazinesChallenges Entered:

Craft Stamper: July Anything Goes

Love To Create: Challenge 13 Anything Mixed Media Goes

Creative Artiste: Challenge 28 Anything Goes

A Inky Mess: Challenge 12 Mixed Media

Castles in My Mind: Art Journal Page

Castles in My Mind

Castles In My Mind

Castles In My Mind… a phrase that makes me think of the beautiful places in my imagination that I wish to visit.  Just the other day my hubby and I were discussing our bucket lists. As our children are still young, we have yet to check off the more adventurous items on the list but that doesn’t mean we cannot dream. We are looking forward to paying off our home once my hubby settles into a new job and then we can start planning to whittle down the list. I am looking forward to many wonderful summer vacations with the hubby, making memories and being in each others company.

For now, I will have to settle for traveling through books. I have been reading a lot lately and it fuels my desire to experience new cultures, food and people. I just finished the book, The Little Paris Bookshop. It is about a book seller who owns a floating bookstore. He eventually makes his way up river through France and stops at little villages and towns along the way. A fabulous read for those interested in books, travel and new experiences.

So, that is what I had in mind when I created this journal page.

Castles in My Mind 2

Creating the Journal Page

This is another journal page that I reworked because I did not like my first attempt. I added more layers of gesso in the background and white embossing powder over the gesso. Scraps of various textured paper were added behind a fabulous Lynne Perrella stamp.

Do you have a bucket list?

What great books are you currently reading?

Thank you for stopping by,


Challenges Entered:

Art Journal Journey: Summertime Love

Frilly and Funkie: In the Good Old Summertime (I love summer because of vacations and family times and what better way to represent that in my project than with bright colors)

Simon Says: Summer Sunshine



Seth Apter’s New Stamp Release


Seth Apter Stamp Release AND Guest Designer

Today, I have a Guest Designer post over at the PaperArtsy Blog, using some incredible new stamps. Here is a little sneak peek of the mixed media assemblage that I made. I’ll show you another project later on in the week using these stamps so stay tuned.

Have you ever heard of Seth Apter? You can read a little about him and see his art HERE.

But for now, head on over to the PaperArtsy Blog and let me know what you think.
Paper Crafting Magazines