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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Painterly Faces | A weekly project

I’m not sure if I declared it here on the blog but I had intended NOT to commit to any year-long projects this year – other than classes I have purchased – but I kind of changed my mind. This year is the year of Painterly Faces – portraits painted in various styles, but mainly water colour posterised portraits. I’m hoping to eventually freehand paint faces, but to begin with I will stick with the process that I know and love.

If you are a Get Messy member, you can find my water colour portrait tutorial over on their blog. Maybe I’ll create a process video of one of my faces at some stage as well, but for now, here are the portraits I have painted so far.


It all started with a tribute to George, and then Carrie. I loved painting these two so much I decided to keep going. And this recycled cotton paper journal is a dream to paint them in so I’m going to fill ‘er up.


Next came Harry Potter – I’m still reliving the series – I re-read every book and re-watched every movie last year and still can’t stop thinking about it.

And then I just had to commemorate Barack. It’s been too momentous an occasion not to.

So that’s is my project for the year. I’m sure I’ll end up painting portraits en mass to catch up throughout the year, but that will just be part of the fun.

Now, who has suggestions for my next portrait??? Add them to the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

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Get Messy | Season of Gifts | Week 6

Another season of Get Messy Art Journal is over, and it is my last as a Creative Team member. The last twelve months has been a really great time for my creativity and I am and will be forever grateful for the opportunity.

Anyway, with that said, here are my last three pages for my Season of Gifts journal.


Materials: Wrapping paper leftover from Christmas

This first page is very simple – I have used torn pieces of wrapping paper I saved from Christmas and stuck them down. A five minute collage page – and I think it could be one of my favourites for the season.


Materials: Gelliprint made on deli paper, black tissue paper, magazine page, white acrylic ink by Liquitex and a white uniball signo pen.

This second page was also a very quick collage page. I was kind of channelling Cait Sherwood here, but added my own touch.


Materials: Liquitex Heavy Body paints in Paynes Grey, Iridescent Gold and Titanium White, Liquitex Acrylic Ink in Muted Grey (a brand new one).

This last page is a work in progress. I intend to follow Vanessa’s tutorial to finish it off, but just didn’t have time last night to do it and I couldn’t not post on a Thursday. Its been a weekly habit during each season for quite some time now, but I just may need to change my days this year to give myself a little bit more time.

So that’s it from me for a few weeks. I will work on a flip through of the entire journal to share on Instagram in the next couple of weeks. Otherwise, see you back here soon.

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Get Messy | Season of Gifts | Week 5

It’s my last week of holidays and I have been really enjoying the sunshine and getting some pesky household chores out of the way, but that hasn’t stopped me creating a couple of spreads for the Season of Gifts.

My first page is based on the news where I live – we have orcas migrating south and they were in the mouth of the river. I wish I had seen them in real life!


Materials: White gesso, Water colours (QoR Indigo and Winsor and Newton Paynes Grey and Turquoise), Copic Gasenfude Nylon Brush tip pen in black.

My second spread was based on what I have given from my life – and that is my young years to be a Mum. I was pregnant at age 20 and would not have changed it for the world. My kids are my life.


Materials: Gelli Print background, Liquitex Heavy Body Paynes Grey, White gesso, Magazine image from Peppermint Magazine, Fluro Orange paint by golden, Copic Multiliner Black pen (my new favourite).

I’ve also been continuing to work in my Dreams journal as I have a few pages left to finish and I love the book so much I have to fill it all up.

This spread continues the dream theme and is the lyrics to the song Dreamer by Supertramp.


Materials: White Gesso, Water colours by QoR (Indigo and Gold), Liquitex Acrylic Ink in Gold and Carbon Black, Magazine cut out, White Uniball Signo gel pen, Gold Uniball gel pen.


And that’s it for the week. I hope you’ve had plenty of creative time over the holidays, and if not, that you have had plenty of family time instead. Both are equally important aren’t they.

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Creative Team – Donna Downey Artist Gang

Welcome to my new blog – a refresh and a name change for the new year. And I thought it was a great time to share the news here that I am now part of a new creative team – Donna Downey’s Artist Gang for 2017!

Donna Downey Artist Gang

I will be creating tutorial videos over on the Artist Gang YouTube channel every few weeks and will be showcasing some of the wonderful products Donna has in her shop.

I will also be sharing work on the Artist Gang Facebook Page – check it out and follow along to see what the artist gang gets up to this year.

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My Blog | A New Year, A New Look

So the time has come to transform my blog into a portfolio website and blog site. I thought what better time to do this than the new year. So from today The Drawing Board is now Tanyalee Kahler, and I have a brand new domain so please come on over and visit my new site and bookmark it, and follow it on Bloglovin or whatever other platform you use to read blogs.

I promise nothing will change, other than the address you read my blog posts from, the vision is still exactly the same, I just thought it was time to use my own name for all things art.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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