Jazz up your washi tape

Today I’ve got a quick and simple tip/tutorial for you to jazz up your washi tapes. If you’re like me, you probably have lots of washi tapes in your stash, and can’t help wanting to add even more to your collection. But we all know that each roll of washi tape lasts a long time, and it will take a long time to finish up even one roll. Not to mention that sometimes, we get tired of the designs we own (even though we still really like them) and just want something different for a change.

Well, I’m here to share a way for you to jazz up the washi tapes in your stash so you can get different looks from the same washi tape – and that’s simply by doodling on your washi tapes with a pen or marker! And it sounds simpler than it actually is. Take a look at some of the ones I made:

I first laid down strips of washi tape on sticker sheet backing so I can work on them on a flat surface. I tend to keep sticker backings for projects involving tapes and handmade stickers so it’s easier for me to work on them or store them, and I can shift them out of the way easily. You can of course work on them on any surface that the tape won’t stick permanently to, such as a non-stick crafting mat/sheet, waxed paper or deli paper.

Now onto the designs! You can see from the examples above that there are many designs you can doodle on your washi tapes. You can make dots and any other polygonal shapes you want, or just make a variety of lines, such as stripes, plaid, zigzags, dashes, ‘x’, ‘+’. Really, any kind of mark making will work here. You just want something that will jazz up your washi tape and make it look a little different. Try using different colours for the same design, and you can end up with a washi tape that has a different look to it. Even adding some highlights to the original design will give it a different look, as seen in the sakura washi tape.

You can use just about any pens and markers you have in your arsenal. In the above examples, I used Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gold, Staedtler Pigment Marker and Kuretake Zig alcohol markers, but any gel pens, pigment markers or alcohol markers should work. I didn’t show it in the photos, but water-based markers will work as well. You do need to let the gel pens, pigment markers and water-based markers dry for some time though, and be careful not to smudge them while you’re adding your designs, because the surface of washi tape tend to repel them. I let mine dry overnight and they were completely smudge free by the morning!

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to jazz up the washi tape in your stash, and make them go further, and no longer repetitive and boring. Don’t be afraid to try out different designs! If you mess up, well, it’s just a small strip of washi tape and you can always start over again without fear of ruining your whole roll of tape. Hope you have fun with your washi tape (:

Here are the links to the washi tapes that I used in my photos: plain pastel yellow, plain baby blue, purple dots, sakura blossoms. I try to link to Amazon whenever I can because I am an affiliate member of Amazon, and I will receive a small amount if you shop through the links (at no additional costs to you).

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Tips on mobile photography: hands-free phototaking

I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately, particularly for the shop and this blog. Most of the time now, I take photos with my phone because it’s just convenient to reach for, and easy to transfer photos to my computer wirelessly (a feature that my trusty camera unfortunately lacks). Sometimes I’ll use my iPad too, when my phone battery is low or when I can’t get the image to focus, but the idea is that using mobile devices is convenient for me.

I’ve encountered a problem when taking photos though. I don’t have steady hands, so I need both hands to steady my phone or iPad when taking photos, which means that I don’t have the extra finger to poke the screen of my device when I am ready to take the photo. That resulted in multiple attempts at shots, as images tend to get blurry the moment my hand leave the side or stretch to touch the capture button.

A while back, I discovered a solution to my problem while fiddling with the settings of the camera app on my phone – I can use voice control to command my phone to take photos, without having to sacrifice one hand I use for steadying! That has saved me lots of time and effort in taking photos, and eliminated a lot of the frustration.

Here’s a quick guide on how to activate voice control on your phone:

  1. Head to settings on your phone’s camera app.
  2. Make sure that your voice control is turned on. (Photos can be clicked on if you want to enlarge.)

    You might also need to head to the settings of your phone to activate the voice control function.
  3. To use voice command when you are taking a photo, just give the command that is indicated on your phone settings. Mine says either “capture”, “shoot”, “smile” or “cheese”. I like to say “shoot”, because it’s just one syllable, and my phone detects it quite well, so try different command to find one that works best for you and your phone.

As a reference, I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is an Android phone. From what I can gather from the web, all Android phones have the voice command function in-built for the camera. Unfortunately, if you are an iPhone or iPad user, there is no such in-built function available. There are however, apps you can download from the app store that would provide the same function. I’m not particularly impressed with the apps I’ve found though, so I won’t be mentioning any. But you can search the web using search terms like “voice command iPhone camera” and a few apps will pop up that you can try out. I think it’s a shame that Apple devices are lacking this function, which would have been great, because admittedly, I find Apple cameras to be better.

I hope this tip/tutorial has been helpful. If you have any additional suggestions, or know of a good app for Apple devices, do share with us in the comments below (:

Card: Thinking of you

Hi friends, I’m here again today with another card to show you! I made this card in the same setting as the cards I made for the Danipeuss Card Challenge – here’s the link to card 1 and card 2 if you are interested in them. For anyone else who is interested to participate in the card challenge, there’s a new challenge up already, which you can check out here too!

This card started out as an experimentation of sorts, as I play around with supplies that I don’t usually use. I stamped the background with a striped border stamp using a red dye ink for some patterned background. It didn’t ink too well though, for some reason, and I can’t tell if it’s because I’m not using a mounting block or the stamp itself, because the results is the same when I use a pigment ink. Nonetheless, I went with it and took the splotchiness as a design feature as well by spritzing the whole panel with water mixed with perfect pearls. I got this idea from Jennifer McGuire, and it’s basically just filling a spray bottle with a spoonful of perfect pearls. You get a nice light shimmer coverage when you use this, which is really nice to add just a little something special to backgrounds. The light shimmer didn’t show up too well on the camera though, so I can’t show you how that actually looks, but it’s a really pretty and subtle shimmer.

I got some water on the card accidentally, and because I used dye ink on a super absorbent paper, there were some water splotches on the card as well. To cover up the mistake and to make it seem as though it is part of the plan, I dripped more of the perfect pearls water onto the water splotch and then elsewhere on the card. Some splotches are larger than others, and you get a nice pearly splotch if you drip enough on it, as it pushes the dye ink away. It’s also kind of meditative to watch the water push the ink away like a ripple effect. Here’s some close up look of the splotches:

You can see the slightly lighter colouring of the splotches, as well as a more concentrated dose of the shimmer.

The focal point of the card is this cute little ribbon that I’ve tied. While waiting for the background to dry, I came across this video on how to tie a ribbon in less than a minute, so of course I had to try it (and break out my stash of hardly ever used ribbons in the process). It turns out that the ribbon are really embellishment worthy if you have some nice coloured ribbons and the pink ribbon looked really nice when I auditioned it against the background. I glued the ribbon to the panel with some fabric glue, but any wet glue should work fine.

I decided to use the sentiment “Thinking of you”, which I thought would be a nice complement to the ribbon and the sweet colour scheme of the card. I wanted to keep the card basic and the focus on the ribbon, so I opted to write out the sentiment, rather than stamping it on. To echo the wide distance of the striped background, I first drafted out the sentiment on a grid paper, and then used it as a guide when I wrote out the sentiment on kraft cardstock. It’s not perfect placement, because I stumbled a little when I was writing it, but it’s close enough that I don’t scrutinise it – it’s alright to not be perfect in your projects! A tip if you like to hand-write sentiments or words like me: scrap pieces of cardstock are excellent for adding sentiment or word banners! You get to use up all the thinner scraps that don’t get much use otherwise and the thinner width makes it easier for you to align your writing or when trimming it. For the last finishing touches, I went over the entire banner with a Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, and coated it with a coat of Glossy Accents for an epoxy look.

Really like how that shimmer looks under a layer of Glossy Accents!

This is a really simple card put together with some basic supplies, and of course lots of play and experimentation. I hope you enjoy the various cards that I’ve shown you over the past week! If you made a card inspired by this card, share your card with me in the comments below! I would love to see what you made (:


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge/Card Challenge #043: Card #2

Following up on yesterday’s post, here’s the second card I made for this Danipeuss Card Challenge!

Hallo! Ich bin hier mit meiner zweite Karte für diese Danipeuss Karten Challenge!

Here’s how the card look like:
Hier ist die Karte: 

You will notice that I used the same feather elements as the first card since I already have them out on the table. In this design, I laid the feathers overlapping each other to make it kind of floating/falling down. I didn’t mention this in the last post, but all of the feathers are made using this Crafter’s Workshop stencil and Distress inks in a variety of colours – they make really nice elements after cutting out. The background is just watered down dye inks – I stamped a red dye ink pad onto an acrylic block, add some water and then smoosh it to the paper. It creates this kind of painterly watercolour look, which is really nice while adding some colour to the panel.

In dieser Karten benutzte ich dieselbe Federn wie die erste Karte, weil sie schon am Tisch sind. Die Federn werden mit Distress Stempelkissen aus diese Schablone schabloniert, dann ausgeschneidet. Der Hintergrund wird mit einem roten Stempelkissen und Wasser (ähnlich wie Aquarell) gemacht. 

The sentiment for this card is a mix of stamping and handwriting. I stamped them on a scrap piece of paper first to make sure they would fit and look right before I did it on the panel, because I wanted the sentiment to be on top of the pink of the background, and didn’t want to make any mistake to cover it up. Admittedly, the handwriting part isn’t perfect, but it looked alright so oh well.

Das sentiment wird mit sowohl Alphabet Stempel als auch Handschrift gebaut. Aber zuerst zeichnete ich das Sentiment-Design auf ein Scrappapier, damit alles perfekt an der Kartetafel sind. Das Handschrift fallen nicht so perfekt aus, aber es sieht nicht so schlecht aus, so alles sind gut 😉 

Again, a really simple card, but I put this one together much quicker than the first card because of momentum. The placement probably helps too because the elements filled up quite a lot of space that there isn’t a lot of empty space that I feel like I need to fill up.

Wie die erste Karte, diese Karte ist auch super einfach. Aber diese Karten brauchte weiniger Zeit zu machen, weil ich schon Momentum hatte. 

A look at the details of this card:
Mehr Fotos von die Karte: 

A look at the feathers. / Die Federn.
A look at the sentiment. / Das Sentiment.

And that’s all I have for this Card Challenge! Hope you enjoyed looking at the cards I’ve made. It’s quite a challenge to do a write up in both English and German, but it was a good exercise and a good chance for me to practise my German again. I have one more card I made in the same setting that isn’t related to the challenge, so if you like to see that, check back again in a couple of days!

Und das ist alles für die Kartenchallenge! Ich hoffe, dass Sie für beide Karten Gefallen finden. Mein Deutsch ist nicht perfekt und Schreiben auf Deutsch ist eine Herausforderung aber ich hoffe, dass es nicht so schlecht ist! Ich habe noch eine andere Karte gemacht, doch sie ist nicht für die Challenge. Ich werde in ein paar Tagen die Karte bloggen, wenn Sie sich für das interessieren. Bis nächstes Mal, tschüss!


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge/Card Challenge #043: Card #1

I’m participating in the Danipeuss Card Challenge for the very first time and I’m here to share with you the cards that I’ve made for the challenge. This time’s theme is “Happy Birthday”, and I have made two cards, which I will share in this blog post and another post tomorrow. Danipeuss is a new blog that I’ve found and started following recently, because it’s in German, and I really need to make sure I don’t forget the German I’ve learnt, and I quite like the content they produce. I’m also going to blog in German for the first time, so good luck to me!

Hallo zusammen, heute zeige ich Ihnen meine Karte für Danipeuss Kartenchallenge #43, zum Thema „Happy Birthday”. Ich machte zwei Karten für diese Kartenchallenge, und morgen werde ich Ihnen die zweite Karte zeigen, denn ich muss die Karten in verschiedenen Posts zeigen, gemäß den Regeln der Kartenchallenge. Es ist mein erstes Mal auf Deutsch bloggen, und ich bin leider ein bisschen eingerostet. Entschuldigen Sie mich wenn mein Deutsch falsch ist! 

Here’s the first card I made for this challenge:
Hier is die erste Karte für diese Challenge:

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge #23, Card 1

This is a simple card, but it took me a while to put it together because I was really uninspired when I started out. I knew I wanted to to use those feathers that I stenciled and fussy cut out but and it took me a while before I found a placement that I like, along with choosing the right colours for the feathers.

Eine einfache Karte, aber am Anfang habe ich Probleme zu beginnen, weil ich ideenlos war. Ich weiß, dass ich die Federn benutzen wolle, und brauchte ein bisschen Zeit, um ein angenehmes Design zu bekommen. 

I started out with a blank piece of white panel for the card front and I didn’t like the bright white, so I grabbed my gouache that was beside me on the table and just swished some neutral colour down. It was still a little too plain, so I took a textured stamp and randomly stamped it on the background with an ink pad matching the background to give it some interest.

Ich malte die weiße Tafel mit einen neutralen Farbe meiner Gouache und danach stempelte ich mit einen dessinierten Stempel für manchen Interessen. 

For the sentiment, I wrote out “Happy Birthday” on a strip of blue textured cardstock with a black pen, plus a white pen for some shadow. I then matted it with black cardstock, stamped the empty space with a border stamp and stuck it down across the panel. For the finishing touches, I inked the edges of the panel and the sentiment strip with a gold ink pad for some definition, and added some pearls for a more elegant look.

Ich schrieb die Sentiment mit einem schwarzen Kuli, und dann markierte einen Schatten mit einen weißen Kuli. Zu der Feinarbeit machen, färbte ich die Panel und der Sentiment-Papierstreifen mit goldenen Stempelkissen ein und klebte einige Perlen an der Karte, damit alles ein elegantes Aussehen gibt. 

Some close-up photos of the card details:
Manchen Nahaufnahmen von der Karte:

Pearl dimensions and really wonky handwriting of “Happy Birthday”. / Perlen und „Happy Birthday” von meinem Handschrift. 
Inked edges with gold pigment ink pad. / Eingefärbten Ränder mit goldenen Stempelkissen. 

Hope you enjoy this little card that I made for the challenge. Admittedly, I don’t create cards often unless I am inspired by cards that I’ve seen other people make. In fact, this is the first time I’m making a card with a blank mind, and it’s a lot harder than I expected. But practice makes perfect, no? I’ll post the second card I made for the challenge tomorrow, and then one more card I’ve made in the same setting the day after so look out for that (:

Und das ist alles! Ich hoffe, dass Sie an diesen Karte Gefallen finden. Die zweite Karte finden Sie morgen in einem anderen Eintrag. Tchüss! 


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

How to make your clear stamps cling again

Hi friends, today I have a quick tip to share with you, on how to get your clear stamps to cling again. I own quite a few clear stamps, because they come in a lot of designs and are much easier to store. Unfortunately, cling stamps have a tendency to lose their stickiness on the back, and doesn’t want to cling to the stamp block or the plastic backer sheet during storage. This can be problematic not only when you’re stamping, but you can also easily lose the stamps in storage, if they drop off without you noticing. I’ve lost a few tiny stamps this way and I’ve never been able to find them again! Even more troublesome if these are alphabet stamps – what to do with a alphabet stamp set that’s missing a vowel?

The problem has been sitting on my mind for a while so I set about trying to solve it the other day, and found a way to make them cling properly again!

Here’s what you need:

  • Your clear stamps
  • A rag (I use a microfibre cloth that I use all the time to clean my stamps)
  • Stamp cleaner, I use a homemade one using this recipe for years

Here’s what you have to do:

Step 1: Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Step 2: Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Step 3: Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

And that’s all! The process is actually very similar to cleaning your stamps, because you are effectively cleaning off all the dust and dirt that have stuck to your stamp, which is what make it doesn’t cling anymore. Here’s a photo of how my stamp set look after I’ve cleaned the cling part, in contrast to the original. That was a couple of weeks back, and the stamps are still clinging well so this method definitely works!

I hope you enjoyed this little tip and tutorial and that you would give it try! Let me know what you think, or if you have other methods that you would like to share as well. Until next time.

 

Starting anew in 2017: finding momentum

Hi guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated and I finally got the energy and drive to update today. So massive massive update ahead, but also lots of photos to feast on.

My current status is that I’m officially unemployed for the past 3 months (wow how time flies). I should saw that I’ve been busy looking for a job, but that’s a lie because the time just consists of a lot of waiting. What this means for my art and creativity though is that my life currently consists of no structure, like I’m bobbing along in the great big sea. Since starting blogging, I found that my most productive creative days happen when I’m busy with other tasks, so I am now consciously aware that having momentum allows me to flourish best. Spending 3 months without any sense of structure and time though… not a good environment to be doing art.

Perhaps it’s the idea of a new year, or perhaps it represents the start of a new life as I leave my undergraduate life behind, this year, I’m finding it easier to start something new (fingers crossed I don’t jinx it). Not just something new, but starting anew, as I try for a past me that have disappeared into the wind in the past few years.

I’m taking up planning again, like those student handbooks that you are forced to buy when you are in school. I have to confess that I used to love them though, and each year my handbook get filled up with reminders and homework and crossing outs. It’s nothing fancy of course, but it didn’t matter because it’s functional. I’ve tried to use planners again during my university days, spending the time and effort to search for planners that would suit my needs AND look pretty. It’s not that much of a lost cause, but often times I find myself not using them, and when I try to pick them up again, I found that I actually didn’t like to use them. This time though, I’m heavily inspired by videos of bullet journals I seen (particularly this and this) so I decided to go simple. I had a B5 binder notebook that I used for German note taking so I decided to use that. And with some new inserts, my planner is thus born. What I loved about this (and probably why it worked so well for me), is that I can just throw papers away if I did something wrong or if I didn’t like it, which frees me from a lot of the stress and pressure I put on myself.

There are tabs that came with the notebook that I used to keep section separate, but the main tab that consist of everything to do with planning is a mishmash of things that goes by chronological order (of when I started the page, not so much what’s on it). I found that it doesn’t bother me so much, and it’s actually kind of nice to be flipping the pages back and forth, rather than just staying on one spread for the week and never needing to move away. It’s adds to the illusion of doing something too, because most days I don’t need to spend too much time writing in the planner. A few photos of how my journal looks:

These quotes used to hang on my wall, but I’ve stopped paying attention to them and one could only feature one at a time so I stuck them into my planner instead
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Daily log page where I write down the things I need to do/plans for the day. I don’t use it as often as I should, but when I do it works fabulously to keep me on my (self-designated) tasks
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This gratitude page started out from a monthly challenge prompt and I’ve kept it to see where it would take me. I’m reading a book called “The Happiness Project” which mentioned that gratitude can make one feel happier
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My Habit Tracker page, which is the page I used the most often and turn to the most

I’ve also started a page on tracking my habits and I’m enjoying it so far. I have unfortunately gained (more than) a few bad habits and lost a few good ones, so I’m trying to get back on track by making them visible, and having a chart to mark off each day allows me to track my progress, and reminds me each day of what I have to do the next day/week/month/whatever. Some habits are easier to get back into than others though, like remembering to put apply face cream in the mornings and nights, and others doesn’t seem to get done at all (the habit that read “Post on My Craft Diary once a week” has been there since January). Yet others seem to have mixed success that I can’t seem to achieve consistently, like sleeping early or bathing early. Nonetheless, keeping track of my habits works for me so it’s something I’m sticking with.

A lot of my drive in picking up new habits come from the first piece of artwork I did this year. It’s a reflective piece, in which I think about the things I want to achieve in my life, and the things I want to keep out. It’s almost like my resolutions for the year? Though I’m not sure if it can really be considered resolutions because they are just big and broad aims I have while I’ve distilled them into workable actions that are manifested in my habit tracker. The piece if now hanging on my wall though, and it makes me happy to just look at the piece on the wall, if only because of the colour. Here’s how the piece looks on the wall:

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And here’s how it looks at the background stage plus some details on the layers. As usual, you can click to view an enlarged image.

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collage, paint and drawings

paint, stenciling, drawing, paint splatters

collage, paint, stencilling with gold paint

I may not be doing a lot of art, but it has not been completely bare these past few months. I did go on a few shopping sprees, so I have quite a few additions to my supplies. They’re mostly utilitarian though (like 3 different type of glues or blade refills), though there are some new yummy supplies that I’ve bought to keep that creative spark (mostly the inexpensive stuff like new pens or ink colours). I finally finally bought the set of paper bead roller that I’ve been eyeing ever since this video came out and it makes paper bead making so much easier. I promptly broke in the new tool by making beads out of scrap pieces of paper that has been lying around for years – that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone 😉 Here’s a look at the bead making process:

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Drying the beads after glazing

I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with the Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop community, and have been chatting with the creative peeps there occasionally. I may be very much out of it but it nice to have a place where I can just drop by, some place familiar where I feel comfortable, and Journal Workshop is just the place for those moments. I participated in the last art swap too, and I think it’s been almost two years since I last did an art swap. We made some paper flowers for the swap and I really liked how these turned out, with the embellishments and all. Hopefully my swap partner would like them!

My main project now is my Japan travel journal, which I started in December and then stopped because I got busy during the holidays (Christmas & Chinese New Year). I started picking it up again a couple of days back, and then somehow fiddled with a camera and video setup. In a stroke of brilliance, I found a set up that works, and doesn’t take too much time to set up, though the setup is rather amusing.

20170306_003725

I use a short table as a temporary work for this project, because I bring out a lot of materials that wouldn’t fit on my usual workspace. You can’t see in this photo, but surrounding this table is an arc of supplies and things I would need for the travel journal, with just an empty space in the middle where I can sit down. Because my craft room is also my bedroom, I used my bed to help in the camera setup, and added cardboard boxes and even my pillow to prop up the selfie stick to a appropriate height. Nothing fancy, so hopefully this means that I might take more videos in the future! I also posted a video of a short flipthrough of the parts I worked on these few days on my instagram which you can view below:

A post shared by Wenyi (@nocloudypooh) on

As you can see, I usually go off on a tangent while I do things, even when I have definite plans. But it’s not a bad thing, because it usually end up being productive, like a new burst of energy to do things. While editing this post, the tangent brought me to create a stamp with the My Craft Diary logo, and it’s pretty easy to add to the images, so that’s a success. *Does happy dance* Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was finding it a drag to learn how to do it. I did it on Photoshop before, but gimp is a little different and I’m not particularly familiar with the programme, so Google was the best way to go. I think that’s all the updates I have for this post, and hopefully, this marks the start of the habit to post on the blog once a week. Thanks for stopping by.

Restlessness, consumption and where’s the production?

Recently feeling in a little bit of a rut again, not least because deadlines for school don’t leave me with much time for craft. That would be a legit excuse/reason, except that never actually stopped me from creating something before. If I am to be really honest to myself, then I need to admit that I actually don’t know what I want to create and thus have not been creating. On other days, I might have just sat down, pull paints out and slap down some colours, but I’m restless so I don’t feel like doing it (or maybe my subconscious is reminding me of the troublesomeness of washing up after the paints).

Maybe saying that I haven’t been crafting is too much of a stretch, because it was only last week that posted about the digital art I created. I guess what I’m really lamenting here is how I haven’t been working on my art journal much. Art journal for me is a very therapeutic exercise, as they often come from deep inside me, rather than the random drawing/art that I have created as with my digital art. I often use my art journal to pour out my thoughts and feelings, and just write streams of unconsciousness. Sometimes, the process helps me start anew, as I leave everything behind in the journal pages. But even if that doesn’t happen, I still feel lighter before I start, and I can attempt to move on after verbalising it and having done something about it.

I will share a page that I did a couple of weeks ago, after a round of restlessness. It was something simple, and I purposely took some time with it so I can enjoy the process longer. I know most people prefer fast and quick art journal process (or at least that’s a common rhetoric I’ve seen), but I personally prefer spending a little bit more time on my art because it makes me feel more satisfied and doesn’t leave me hanging, as have happened a few times

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Pre-painted background, gesso, alcohol markers and some journaling

I tend to get a perpetual need to consume something creative when I’m in a restless rut – blogs, but most YouTube videos. It’s often a sign of restlessness when I’m watching recommended videos from YouTube when I run our of videos to watch on my subscription list. It’s not exactly healthy, because I’m constantly consuming but not actually producing anything in return. Sometimes I find some good ideas or it sparks inspiration of what I can do, but I don’t do it because I’m restless. It’s kind of a waste of time spent watching those videos, that could otherwise be more inspiring when I’m in a better state. I’m still figuring out how to go around that.

I started off this post as a pondering, but as I write, I realised I’m more rambling than anything. Sigh. Well I still need to get this out there, and maybe I can move on from my rut. Hope you aren’t in a rut too, but if you are, you have a kindred spirit in me and here’s to hoping we will get out of it soon.

More digital art

When I iPad Air 2 a year ago, I had two main goals in mind. First, was to use it to help me with school work, and the second, was to create digital art with my new tool. I’ve made tremendous progress on the first front, but I’m ashamed to admit that there is zero to no progress on the second. To be fair though, I did download some apps and played a little with them over the course of the year, but there was really not much progress, as I never moved into the comfortable stage of creating digital art on my iPad.

But! Today is the day this all changed! 🙂 Well, at least I’m hoping that it’s a sign of positive change and to making more digital art. I’ve got inspired by Amy’s latest blog post and her linked Instagram post, and since I’ve got some time today, decided to try and do something on my iPad as well. Amy uses a paid app, but the apps I’ve used can all be downloaded for free, with paid add-ons if you want to expand the function of the app. I’ve yet to buy any of these add-ons (since I’m poor) but you can still create some cool looking stuff with just the free version. Here’s a look at what I’ve created:

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These two are created using the SketchBook app for iPad. It’s the first drawing app that I downloaded because I am used to this app. If you have seen my previous posts on digital art, you know that most of them were done on the SketchBook app for my Galaxy Note device. It was a little hard to get used to, because I’m essentially using the downgraded version on my iPad but oh wells, it works. I tried to the fun colourful background that Amy did, and ended up with a bokeh like background. What I really liked about the app is that you could do layers, so I could change the background colour at will. The app also save the layered file so you can always go back to edit it, which is a function that wasn’t available on the Note device.

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This one is created on an app called Tayasui Sketches, which is available on Android and Apple devices. Comparing this with the SketchBook app, I would say that this app is more dedicated towards painting, and feels more artsy to me, as the tools available features texture like crayon and paintbrush. The free version doesn’t allow addition of layers though, which is a shame but I still like it because it offers something different from the the SketchBook app. The in-app upgrades for the app looks great, and I’m tempted to purchase them sometime in the future, but we’ll see how it goes.

These are basically the apps that I have on my iPad that I use for creating digital art. It’s all still in infancy stage but at least I’m having fun. That’s what creating art should be all about, no? 😉

The last app I want to share with you is an adult colouring app called Pigment, which you can download for free. What I like about the app is that it has many different pages for you to colour, and also allow you to colour in texture like colour pencils or air brush, in addition to the bucket fill. The app also saves all complete and incomplete work you have done, so you can always come back to it at a later time. There is premium access which grants some cool textured brushes like oil, glitter and wood, which are honestly quite gorgeous, plus access to all available colouring books and pages. Unfortunately, premium access works on a subscription basis, rather than a one-off payment, so it’s not something that I would look into buying. The free version works pretty well if you just like to enjoy colouring and would like to de-stress. Here’s one I coloured in just now just to try out the app. I didn’t spend too long thinking of the colours because they have preset colour palettes for you as well. Isn’t that nice?

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I did use a stylus for all my drawing and colouring, which is the Adonit Jot Pro. It’s a pretty good stylus, good for highlight notes on pdfs and broad usage like colouring and painting in. I find it to be a little lacking in detail work though, but it could just be me not being used to the precision disc tip. Handwriting function also works horribly on the Adobe Reader app, which I believe is an app problem rather than the stylus problem. One thing to note is that this stylus doesn’t have palm rejection, which can be a little hard to get in details in drawing as you can’t rest your palm on the screen.

Hope you enjoy this little look at the apps I used on my iPad to create digital art. It’s not something I would turn to all the time, but still an option on the days I would like to do something a little different. Plus, I can do it on the go where I might not have my physical art supplies with me.

Sorry that it took me a while to get posting again. The last two months have been pretty hectic as I was out of town for extended periods of time, and also falling sick once or twice. I have a few posts that I want to get posting so hopefully they can come in when November rolls around. Until next time!

Back to beginnings: uncomplicated journal pages

I have been playing a little more these past few days, and managed to get a page done everyday for the past three days in my Midori traveller’s notebook, an accomplishment in recent months! Well, I say I managed to get the pages done, but it’s more like the pages got done on their own, because they took little planning on my part. Take a look at them first:

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These are all very quick pages that are slapped together. I mentioned that I didn’t plan for them, because I didn’t plan through the art process and did not envision how the final page would look like. They are all “in the moment” pages, representing my thought process or what I was doing at the moment I create these pages. It’s organic, and uncomplicated, and it reminds me of the early beginnings when I started out art journaling, and my pages are just a slap-down mish-mash of things. Of course I would say that my pages now are more “sophisticated”, in the sense that I relate to the content more and it holds more meaning to me (in the past, my pages are just random things created for the sake of creating).

More about each of the pages:

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You’ve seen this page in the previous ponderings post. I had the quote in mind, and that photo was lying around, an extra I accidentally printed. More than just a random photo, the photo really epitomises that quote, because it was taken during my Japan trip, and I actually didn’t like one of the dishes in the photo. It was one of the few pictures I had of that meal and by lack of choice I had to choose it to put inside my travel journal. You noticed that the lettering didn’t come out exactly centred in the last line, and I added the little heart to balance it out. I use hearts a lot to embellish or fill up empty spaces because they work really well most of the time!

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I was playing with a new Crafter’s Workshop stencils along with some Distress inks yesterday. The plan was to try around blending the various colours and using all of the colours at least once, while trying out all the images in the stencil. At the end of it I filled up a whole A4 sheet of cardstock and was very happy, until I realised that there was one colour I didn’t touch at all. So I though I would do that in the traveller’s notebook since the A4 paper is all filled up already. Unfortunately, kraft coloured paper isn’t too kind to light colours (it was peacock feathers), and the feather imprint was barely visible on the page. So I did the old school approach of tracing the stencil image with a pen, which ending up popping the image much better. I choose orange because it’s a contrasting colour to blue. The rest of the page was just random doodlings and me writing my thoughts about the supplies I’m using. Green was chosen for no other reason than I haven’t use the markers I chose in a long time.

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Today I was playing with tags. I have a whole bunch of painted ones sitting in a small drawer, mostly painted from leftover paints and what not. Among them were tags that I do not like for one reason or another, either the colour or the boldness, so they have been sitting around for the longest time as I don’t feel inclined to use them. So I decided that I will try to make them nicer and grabbed some stamps and gesso. Mostly I toned down the colours with gesso, and then did some subtle stampings. It kind of worked, since it improved from the original state, but I’m still not too thrilled with the results. In a random moment while thinking of Julie’s art journal pages, I grabbed a pigment marker and doodled on the purple tag you see at the top. I’m not the best doodler, so I kind of ran out of ideas to doodle. In a serendipitous moment when I turned the doodled tag around, I realised that it actually looked really cool, and reminded me of a namecard. So I went ahead and did two more in truly a namecard style, and I really liked how it turns out! Which is pretty amazing, because I picked the tags I liked the least to doodle on, and just a simple segment of doodles transformed them into something cool looking. I believe I have now found the solution to utilising the many tags that I have stashed in my drawer!

Another thing I would like to mention common in all three pages is my handwriting. I will confess that I don’t think my handwriting is ugly, though some days are worse than others. BUT when it comes to writing with markers, I find that I generally don’t really like how they look, because that’s when I try to do some fancy joined-lettering in an attempt to make it look nice and just ending up botching up the whole thing. In these three pages, I consciously tried not to do that, though it was simply because it’s easier to write them as I would normally (I don’t have to think much), rather than me wanting to not ruin the page. If you are like me, my advice is to just go with your own handwriting! Unless of course you have mastered some sort of fancy lettering, than please ignore me.

Hope you enjoyed this look at my recent pages. It’s nice to have something to share again. 🙂