Wanderlust | a work in progress

Back in September last year a gorgeous friend of mine surprised me with a gift. A subscription to the Wanderlust Art Course for 2017. She had taken the class in 2016 and knew that I would enjoy it. I was so excited but had to wait until January 2017 before I could get started.

So now I am a couple of months in and I have really enjoyed all of the lessons that I have watched. There have been quite a few artists that I have admired for such a long time so it was really fun to watch and learn how they work.

I am going to share a few spread here today – ones that I am particularly proud of.

The first week was a lesson by Kasia, one of the owners of Everything Art that runs the class. It was setting our intentions for the year.

The next lesson was by Mary Ann Wangerin. There were lots of layers used to make this spread and it was probably the first time I have covered up something I actually liked in order to add a new layer.

Then came Wilna Furstenberg with her abstract florals done two ways. We literally painted one version in a single colour and then photocopied it for a second spread. Lots of fun.

Amanda Grace was the next guest teacher and her work is also all about the layers. I loved her process and that the lesson had a lovely meaning behind it.


Week 7 was taught by fellow Aussie, Clair Bremner. I was hanging out for this lesson as I have lusting after her instagram feed for way too long. I loved getting an insight into her layers and technique. I love the folk art leaves and florals patterns that she uses, but I think I would need quite a bit of practice to get that right, so instead I created a stencil of some of the botanical shapes. So now I can use them over and over again.


The last lesson I have watched was by another artist who I have adored on instagram for a while – Alena Hennessy. Her voice alone had me – its so peaceful and meditative. And then the techniques had me all the heart eyes.


So that’s my Wanderlust journey so far. I’m a bit behind as I’ve been a little bit busy, but I have the videos forever, so I’ll just keep watching them as I can.

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Get Messy | Season of Contrast | Week 2

I have been having so much fun making art inspired by the Season of Contrast. Get Messy Art Journal never ceases to amaze me with the inspiration, tutorials, prompts and guest artists. I think each season just keeps getting better and better.

I’ve always admired the spreads made with repeating patterns. They looked like such tedious work and I always thought I was too lazy to make such art. I am impatient and like completing spreads really quickly. But Amy Maricle has totally turned me around. The act of making these repeated patterns is so meditative, and not at all tedious. I have developed a new love and I am pretty sure every page I make from now on will include dots or triangles or leaves (as well as ink splashes because that’s kinda become my trademark right?).

I am going to share a few spreads I finished this week. Again, I have been quite productive despite having a few things going on at home. The first three spreads are all inspired by Amy and the repeated patterns. If you are new to art journaling and are interested in it, and how you can use it for self-care, you really need to check out Amy’s website and online classes at Mindful Art Studio.



This spread I started while watching Amy’s Youtube Live event where she went through some of her processes for making backgrounds. I slipped under her spell and made hundreds and thousands of tiny dots.


This next spread is my interpretation of Riet’s tutorial on the Get Messy blog. She took us through her process of intuitive painting. I hadn’t really thought about this too much before, but many of my processes are intuitive too. I rarely make a spread that I have planned out. I start with a blank page and just start making marks and see where it takes me. I’m really starting to realise that my art is no longer just me making art and pretty things, but it really is my own form of therapy. I immediately feel relaxed when I have paint on my hands and pages.


This last spread just kind of happened. I started with a Payne’s Grey background, stamped with a shimmering high flow acrylic using a celery stem that reminded me of a flower and then added the magazine cutting and line work. More repeated patterns, and inks splashes.

So that’s it until next week, I hope you can find the joy that I do in art. It doesn’t have to be painting, but some form of art that can take your mind off your troubles and relax your brain.

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Get Messy | Season of Contrast | Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of the Season of Contrast for the Get Messy Art Journal community. I have jumped head-first into this season and have been really happy with my spreads. I managed to create 4 spreads in just a few days which is more than I have made in ages. So without any further ado, I will share my work with you.

To start off the season I made my own journal after purchasing the Bookbinding Course from Get Messy. Vanessa (aka @dansmoncrane) has done a fantastic job of simplifying bookbinding. I made my journal using French Link Stitch with an altered book cover and mixed media paper signatures.


My first spread was made prior to the prompts being released so I was just playing around with colour, media and mark-making. I love the result, it’s so colourful and fun. I’ve used watercolour, gouache, acrylic and pen to make the blocks of colour.


Next up is another page I made before the prompts, but would you believe the quote I used was included in the Week 1 prompts. I must be psychic.

This spread is a collage using gelli prints I made using gouache. This was really fun to do, I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to use gouache before. I will say though, as the gouache is water soluble it reactivates as soon as you add a wet medium to it so gluing down the collage pieces led to colour bleeding. I love the bright colours and the contrast between them.


Amy Maricle (from Mindful Art Studio) is the guest teacher for the Season of Contrast and what a breath of fresh air she is. I love her meditative art journaling techniques. They are so relaxing to look at. I have always said I am a lazy artist and haven’t been dedicated enough to try out the repeated patterns, but this week I went crazy with dots. And you know what, the time just disappeared as I was dotting away with my Posca paint pens. It really is meditative. Thanks Amy for encouraging me to give this a try.


And my last, and I think favourite spread was made following Vanessa’s tutorial for the season. I used acrylic ink, water soluble crayons and collage to make this creation. I love the effect that the ink and crayons had when I sprayed them with water.

I didn’t have any spray paint or mists as most of my supplies are packed ready to move house in a couple of weeks so I skipped the masking section of the tutorial, but I still think I did Vanessa proud with the end result.


I hope you take some time to play in your art journals this week, I highly recommend some mindful pattern making. I can’t wait to see what else Amy has in store for us.

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Donna Downey Artist Gang | Adore

It’s my turn to share a tutorial for the Donna Downey Artist Gang, and this month I have made a mixed media canvas. This is quite different to my usual art style, I am mostly an art journaler, but I quite enjoyed myself.

I started by collaging the base with ephemera and then lay down the stencil, I wanted to use it in reverse. And then I covered the whole thing with gesso and filled in the stencil outline with modelling paste to create a full image of a naked lady.

Once the shape was to the thickness I was happy with I started using acrylic glaze to add a grunginess to the canvas.

Anyway, I won’t go into any more detail, you can watch me make the whole thing at the Donna Downey Artist Gang YouTube account.

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Messy Pages | My First Online Class

Well, I’ve been hinting about it on Instagram for months now, but I am so proud to finally announce that my very first online class is about to launch.

I have been working with Lauren and Caylee at Get Messy to prepare this class. It’s taken way longer than it should have for a number of reasons, mainly that I have been recovering from surgery which has also taken longer than it should have.

So without further ado, I present to you – Messy Pages: a Guide to Mixed Media Art Journaling

Basically, Messy Pages is a class that will take you through the processes and techniques that I use, as an almost four year veteran art journaler, to create mixed media art journal spreads. I will explain to you my favourite tools and supplies as well as how I use them in all of my pages.

The class is structured so that it takes you through the steps I use when making a spread from start to finish. I’ll begin with the basics, tools and the different media that I use, preparing pages and will then build pages from the base up with lessons about techniques, background building, through to the journaling that adds the finishing touch to your pages.

I also give you an in depth explanation of how I approach prompts. How I interpret them and how I use elements to inspire my art journaling pages.

So I hope you are as excited as I am to share this with you. Head on over the the Get Messy Shop to sign up today.

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Zine Squad | It’s a Small World Zine

Hello there lovely people. I have been neglecting my blog of late due to other projects that have taken up most of my spare time, but this post was a must-do. You see late last year I was asked to collaborate with the Zine Squad on a zine for the lovely Sasha. The theme of the zine was ‘It’s a Small World’ so it’s all about exploring the world and travelling.

Today I am going to share with you the pages that I played with.

The cover was already made when I received the zine from Vanessa, in person, when we had a Get Messy Meet Up in Sydney last December. It was such a treat to meet her and then talk about the zine and other arty things.

This next page I added the flag paperclip embellishment and that is all. I think the left hand page is by Katie and the right seems to have bits added by everyone.

The left hand page is mind – had to include a galaxy or two in a world travel journals. The right hand page is Vanessa’s.

This spread is also a mixed bag – I added the calico world map.

I made the right hand side page in this spread and added the AirMail stickers.

I used a piece of vellum as a flap over the map of Australia, because hello, I’m Australian and I needed to make sure my country was a feature.

The next spread was my double page spread that I created as a collage with blended acrylics, acrylic ink drips and doodling. I think Katie or Jules may have added the ‘make the world a better place’ quote.

The the final spread was the signature page. I added a vellum pocket to store goodies.

It was so much fun keeping this secret, working on the zine and collaborating with the Zine Squad. I sure hope I get to play with the squad again some time.

You can see the blog posts of the other ladies here:


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Get Messy | Season of Art101 | Week 3

It’s late on a Sunday (well late for me who lacks the ability to sleep properly so is always tired – yaaawwnnn!) so this will be a short and sweet post. I managed to complete two prompts/tutorials this week and I really wanted to share them here.

First up is my colour mixing exercise. I thought about flowers that I love and mixed colours for them.


And then I followed Pam Garrison’s tutorial and took step by step photos to see how different the page looks from start to finish.

Art101_15 Art101_16 Art101_17 Art101_18



I took a different approach with the last step because I couldn’t bare to cover everything up. And I haven’t journaled, but I’m not sure I want to.

How are you enjoying the Season of Art if you are a Get Messy member?

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Get Messy | Season of Art101 | Week 2

Week 2 of Art101 and the topic is texture which is really fun. Texture can mean so many things – actual touchy feely texture, layers of paint with definition hinting at texture, inspiration from textures in the real world … the list goes on.

I tend to take the meaning fairly literally and like to add touchy feely elements to my pages – like texture paste, layers of heavy body paint with raised bits, layers and layers of papers and things that add dimension.

So this week I made a few pages using texture and here they are.


First up is a kind of title page for texture. I used loads of modelling paste, stencils, bubble wrap, other household items that make marks, ink, and paint to make this crazy textures page. I also scribbled into the wet modelling paste for textured writing.


Next up is a paint textured page. I started with heavy body paint and scraped it on with a silicon wedge. I used Liquitex Heavy Body paints (Muted Violet and Parchment) and then I added Liquitex Acrylic Ink in drips and let it run down the page. I finished the page off with a tiny Donna Downey stamp.



My second spread uses all recycled papers adding interesting layers and texture. I got paper towels covered in water colour and ink, and baby wipes that I’ve used to clean up palette knives and wedge tools, and I have tissue paper, gelliprints and envelope paper. Its a pretty pink textured number.


And that’s it for the week. I’m really enjoying getting back to basics and really interpreting the elements in my own way. I loved the tutorials on the Get Messy blog this week, but the prompts didn’t really appeal so I went on my own a bit. I love the results though.

So, have a great week everyone.

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Get Messy | Season of Art101 | Week 1

Hello and welcome to my first Art101 post for the latest Get Messy Art Journal season.

I’m currently in an artists slump, so this first week has actually been really hard to create for. I’m not sure why I’m so stuck with art at the moment – probably just overwhelmed with life I guess.

Anyway, I have pulled together a few layouts to share today – Saturday’s will be my new sharing day for this year I think.

I’m working in a small altered book – it called Mindfulness for Cats and was a gift from my husband because I am the Crazy Cat Lady. It’s small, but I think will be the perfect size for me for this season.

I made a simple watercolour wash background for the title page and added a printed floral image which I coloured using water brush pens.


Materials: QoR watercolours (Indigo and Gold), Black brush pen by Plumchester, Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport.

Next up I used gouache, inspired by Vanessa’s tutorial, but went totally off subject and painted a jungle, and a really lame elephant. I’m still not sold on gouache, but I’ll keep trying.

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For this next layout I used the bonus prompt and created a collaged self portrait using the inside of a security envelope. So much fun and I had to add a watercolour magic wand for good measure.


Materials: Security envelope, collage papers, watercolours by Winsor & Newton and QoR.

My last page is following Sasha’s tutorial. I used the packaging technique with water colour. I’ve done this before with mists and gelatos, but watercolours are much nicer, and it was so quick and easy. I scripted used Jane Davenport’s mermaid markers (which are amazing by the way), but my hand wasn’t very steady and the script is a bit ho-hum.


Materials: Watercolours by QoR, image from Frankie Magazine, Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport.

That’s all for week one, I’m looking forward to the topic for next weeks Art101 series. Lots of great content for beginners, and vintage members like myself coming up I’m sure.

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Donna Downey Artist Gang | Painting on Fabric

Donna Downey Artist Gang

I wanted to share my first Donna Downey Artist Gang tutorial, and include the instructions for making a pencil pouch and journal cover out of painted fabric.

First of all, you can see the video over at Donna Downey’s Artist Gang blog page and on YouTube.

How-to Sheet for Making a Pencil Pouch

What you need:

  1. Fabric
  2. Stencil
  3. Acrylic Paint
  4. Watercolours
  5. Needle and thread
  6. Zipper (sized appropriately for your fabric)
  7. Sewing machine and accessories (I have known people to ‘sew’ using hot glue too so you could try that).

Step 1:

Paint your fabric using the tutorial.

Step 2:

Line the painted fabric with a second piece of fabric to protect the stitched areas.

Step 3:

Start sewing your pouch by adding the zipper. Stitch the zipper to one end of your fabric rectangle with the zipper face down and fabric painted side up. Use a zipper foot on your sewing machine.

Step 4:

Fold the zipper out and stitch it down so the underside doesn’t get caught in the zip when opening and closing the pouch.

Step 5:

Attach the other side of the zipper to the opposite end of the fabric so it makes a tube.


Again fold the zipper out and stitch it down so the underside doesn’t get caught in the zip when opening and closing the pouch.

Step 6:

Fold the pouch so the zipper is in the middle of the top of the pouch.

Make sure you leave the zipper partially open or you won’t be able to fold the pouch in the right way at the end.

Step 7:

Fold each edge into the middle of the zipper.


Step 8:

Stitch across each end.

Step 9:

Fold the pouch so that the painted side is on the outside. You will need to push the corners out carefully.

Journal Cover

I didn’t take photos of the steps for this one, but it is fairly straight forward.

Step 1:

Place two pieces of fabric right sides together (so painted side in).

Step 2:

Sew down three sides of the fabric and turn it right side out.

Step 3:

Insert a piece of card and fold the cover in half.

Step 4:

Hand sew the last side of the fabric pieces together to close the cover securely.

Step 5:

Make a whole in the centre and put either an elastic to ribbon through to use to tie the journal shut.

Step 6:

Make your inserts and hand sew them in using pamphlet stitch.

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