How Did They Do That?

Portals Book with Caubin

Awhile back I came accross a project in the Art Journal Caravan Gallery, that was just so amazing I asked caubin if she would share how she made it! She generously agreed and has done some amazing work putting togther the “How To’s” for it! She’s even made a downloadable PDF file for you to keep (link at the end of the post)! I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart, for not only an inspiring project but going the extra mile sharing with all of us how she did it!

“Portals Book” by caubin aka Christina
You can see the whole book “put together in order” by visiting the digital version of the book she made {here}.

When Tangie posted the prompt ‘Portals and Transformations’ I was really excited about it. It was a prompt that spoke to me and that I was interested in. I immediately followed the tumblr that she recommended and kept the prompt in the back of my mind. I was busy with some other things and not quite ready to work on it but I was thinking about it. None of the ideas I was thinking of really touched me though and I’ve found over this journey that if an idea isn’t from the heart then the page isn’t going to be successful.

I kept coming back to the idea that no matter how beautiful the portal it had to actually lead somewhere in order to tell a story. That’s when the idea of having it literally lead somewhere came to me and once it did it wouldn’t let go. Everything got pushed to the back burner while I figured out if and how I could execute this idea!

The first thing I did was take some typing paper and scissors and tape and tried out some ideas for engineering the doors. I was pretty intimidated by this but I came up with what I thought was a workable idea. Each door would be a separate, 2 layer piece that would be inserted between two other pages which, when glued together would make up one page, front and back. For a long time I planned on using an old fashioned photo album/scrapbook that I had as a support structure for my book. This influenced a lot of my early decisions. The pages are 12″ x 9″ because that’s how big the pages in the supporting book are. There were going to be 10 pages, because that’s how many pages I could fit into the supporting book and still have end papers etc.

Once I had the engineering in place I designed the first page, to get an idea of how the workflow in PhotoShop was going to go. At that point I got with a friend and colleague to consult on how, exactly, I needed to lay everything out for it to eventually be printed. He pointed out that I was making things way too complicated and pointed out that since the front and back of each page were being printed separately all I needed to do was make sure that the back of each page was flipped horizontally from the front. Easy. We printed the first page to do a test. That was when I realized that the weight of the heavy coated paper we were using was going to be sufficient to support the book and I would not need to use the photo album to support the book. I did use it to bind the book though.

I moved on to the design phase. I had already decided the theme of the book was going to be places. I really love the whole idea of Place and the emotional reactions we all have to different places I collected photos from all over the world that I really loved or that spoke to me in some way and set out to design the pages. Many of my photos are by Trey Ratcliff of He’s a wonderful and generous photographer and posts full high res versions of his photos, asking only that you credit him if you use them and that you not use them for commercial purposes. For each page I placed the major photo or photos and then played with paper and embellishments. I used a lot of Tangie’s spatter graffiti on the pages. They tend to really blend well with a lot of things and tie a page together.

I ended up increasing from 10 to 12 pages. I chose scenes that led from one to another in an interesting way and that covered pretty much the entire globe. Since the viewer was going to be able to see the subsequent page through each door or window I made sure to check and double check that the ‘sneak peak’ was intriguing and beautiful. I left a black border along the binding edge of each page. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to bind it and wanted to leave myself some play for trimming etc. and to fit into the binding area.

I’ve worked on a couple of fairly large projects and a tip I’ve found helpful is to use Adobe Bridge (if you have it, if not a windows explorer folder or MAC finder folder will work) to review the finished pages as you go along. I open the folder containing the final images in Bridge and set the thumbnail size fairly small. This lets me see the entire book at a glance. I try and not jump too drastically between tones but don’t want to end up with too many similar pages either. By looking at small thumbnails all together you can check the ‘color flow’ of the design. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, I loved the idea of jumping from the warm desert to the cool sea!

I had a time frame that everything had to be designed and printed before my vacation so I could do the assembly while I was off work. All along the plan had been that the back side of each page would just be a mirror image of that page. It hit me though that the back of each page was going to be seen side by side with the subsequent page. They had to match not the front of the page but the next page! I had more pages to do and not a lot of time. I made very simple facing pages for 11 of my pages (the first page didn’t need a facing page.) I met my deadline. In the end the book takes the viewer on a journey that eventually leads back to my hometown and some other cities that are important to me and ultimately ends with the only indoor scenes in the book, those of warm, comfortable, cozy home life. It brings you home in the end.

I had it all printed and ready to go. I needed to print two copies of each door, two fronts and two backs with enough space around them for the tabs I needed to insert them into the pages and two copies of each of the pages. The two copies were because I did not print this myself, I had it printed. If I made any mistakes in cutting or construction I was going to need spare parts!

It was so exciting to see the book come together as each page was done. I was really nervous and intimidated about joining the Art Journal Caravan but it’s been such a wonderful experience. I’ve learned a lot and gained confidence. I don’t know if I’d have tackled an actual paper project, much less such a complex one before starting the AJC. I’m good with big, complex projects on the computer but dealing with actual paper and glue is a whole other thing.

I didn’t have a cover or end pages yet but it was far enough along to show to people. As anyone who creates knows once you let a thing loose and let other people experience it they often react to it in ways you didn’t anticipate and make you see it in a whole new light. This was just what happened with the Portals book! Every person who looked at it saw it as a mystery, which I had never anticipated. They would peak through the doors and try and guess the next destination. A paper engineered book, is, by it’s very nature, fun, but I hadn’t anticipated the game people would make of reading it.

I made the cover and end pages and then bound it into the existing photo album. I just removed the pages that were in it and slid my pages onto the wire ring. At the suggestion of my friend I’m also going to get some tiny hinges and other trimmings and add them to the pages as well.

It was fun to make. It took some time and patience (and courage!) but was worth it in the end. It’s a project that I think would be easy to adapt to another theme as well, such as a children’s book (a peek-a-boo book would be fun!) or fun family album. If you’re ambitious enough to do a lot of pages you could make an advent book. You wouldn’t have to cut through both pages for that, you could just insert a scene behind the door. I think I’m going to do that. You could just get out all your ‘stuff’ and make some art. I saved all the doors that I cut out of the pages and all my spare stuff so I might just make myself a collage version one of these days.

In terms of size you could go bigger, to the full 11″ x 17″ if your paper is heavy enough or you could go smaller. Just be aware that the smaller you go the smaller your doors are going to be and the trickier they will be to install!

If you want to make one and have any questions feel free to ask, I’d be happy to help if I can.


Thank you so much Christina! I decided to add a gallery here in this post too so you could see all her amazing photos!

You can download the PDF on how to make the doors {HERE}!

How’d They Do That? 13th Edition

Welcome to Wednesday and that means another edition of “How’d They Do That” where you get to learn how fellow members of the Art Journal Caravan made pages for their own journals.  Today we’re learning how Susan (aka suslyn at the SBG forums) made this wonderful page:

First, I have a little interview to share with you.

ME: How long have you been art journaling?
SUSAN: I suppose that depends on one’s definition of ‘art journaling.’ In a way since I began scrapping (June 2009), but formally my first page was January this year with the AJC 

ME: What inspired you to create this page? 
SUSAN: The DH and I are in counseling. While I’ve been journaling about *my* feelings for myself for a while, our counselor assigned me to scrap my feelings to communicate them to him. The journaling tells the story of my feelings while the bird and cat illustrate it.

ME: Who do you go to for inspiration?
SUSAN: I guess you mean visually — in general, I don’t. I may see an element in a kit, more often a paper which gets me started. Often verses from the Bible come to mind and are woven in even if not textually whether from themes of comfort, correction, hope or whatever.

ME: When do you feel most creative? 
SUSAN: I feel creative most of the time. I dislike it most when it wakes me up! I’m jazzed over Christmas kits 365 days a year. I don’t have a lot of pics of my own, but my FB friends’ pics make me wanna scrap — that happens almost daily (the desire, less often a LO).

ME: Why do you journal? 
SUSAN: For years I’ve needed and sought a creative outlet which I can do. I’m really bad at most things artsy. I have a degree in music, but if you heard me play you’d never guess I gave a recital. My art teacher told me I was the only person he’d ever known who couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler. And the list goes on. I’ve yearned for and needed an outlet for personal expression. I’m thrilled I found one which works for me. The short answer would be: because I have to!

ME: Do you have a blog you’d like to share with us?
SUSAN: My somewhat neglected blog can be found here:

ME: Would you mind sharing how you made this page?
SUSAN: This was actually a pretty easy LO for me, pretty quick too. Helps when you’ve got great raw materials and a Bamboo!

I work in PS CS3. I started with the background freebie ArtJournal mini by Christine Honsinger aka Fiddlette Designs @ CatScraps. 

Most of the work was done for me. I flipped it, duplicated it and extracted the circles. The extraction was very rough — I think I even used the extraction filter in PS and didn’t do anything else to it. Didn’t worry about it as they were exactly in the same place as the circles in the paper which also have the white outline… hassle free. Then I used the color dodge blending mode on that layer so the ‘city’ which is behind it would show through the circles. I also added a drop shadow.

The rest of the elements are also from CatScraps, but from Ida’s Urban Element kit. I did absolutely nothing (except, possibly, resizing) to the city or road — no shadows, nothing. Just plopped them on.

On the other elements I have varied shadow types, but they’re all a darker shade of the brown of the cat. For the flowers & window with bricks its 69 distance, 57 size. Everything else is default PS settings. The cat and bird are 9 distance, 10 size.

I created new layers for the writing, one each for the bricks and one for the text on the bird. The text on the bricks is just black, no shadows, no effects, written by hand on the bricks. For the text on the bird, I believe I picked up the grey in the flower. Again I wrote directly on the new layer over the bird.

The cat. The black was already there on the element All the colors besides the black and brown I drew on, again with the bamboo. Each color has it’s own layer and to each layer I’ve added a glitter style (I’m addicted to glitter). I usually adjust these styles, but this time I didn’t. They’re just as they came (Miki Ferkel’s Holiday Glitter Pro).

There is one more text, with a font at the top of the city, I used the bulge warp text tool and did nothing to change it. The font color I picked up somewhere on the background.

I think that about wraps it up. Thx for your interest — how very flattering  Hope you’re all having a wonderful and magical December.

A HUGE thanks to Susan for sharing her techniques with us and taking the time to participate in my interview.  It was absolutely wonderful getting to know you Susan.  

I hope you, dear readers, found inspiration in this page, I know I did.

How’d They Do That? 12th Edition

First of all, I must apologize, the day has just slipped away before today’s post was published.  I am SO sorry, I hope you can find it in your kind hearts to forgive me.  I believe my head has been too full of thoughts of turkey and stuffing to focus much, however I was able to snag an interview with an extremely talented artist and fellow Caravaner- JaneAgain.  Her page, Seek, was featured in the Highlights of the Week # 46 post, and now, you get to learn a few of her secrets involved in making this page:

First, let’s get to know the artist…

ME: How long have you been art journaling? 
JANEAGAIN: I started art journalling in June of this year, when I started the AJC. I’d never actually heard of art journalling before, but the steamer trunk was too good to resist.

ME: What/Who inspires you to create? 

JANEAGAIN: At this point, it’s primarily Tangie and the AJC prompts. I’m recovering from a long illness, and am using this as a way to figure out what’s really going on with me. There’s so much inspiration there, I don’t need to look for anything else!

ME: Do you create strictly digital or do you play with paint and glue also? 

JANEAGAIN: I do all digital right now. I used to paint, and I’m hoping to take that up again soon. I’m not good with glue, though. Never have been. 

ME: How often do you journal? 

JANEAGAIN: Not nearly as often as I’d like! I was doing well for awhile, then I stalled as I started to get better and my energies were taken up with physical stuff again.

ME: Do you have a blog you’d like to share with us? 


ME: And finally, how did you create this page?
This was such a fun one! I started off with two papers from Alt Inspired by Phuong Ton (retired). I used one of them as the background. The other I clipped to a very large text layer (roughly 1000 pt). I chose SEEK as my word because I’m seeking myself out with this project, but I didn’t want it to be too clear, because I’m still looking for answers, so I didn’t use any shadowing on the text layer so that it would blend in more with the background. Then I took a bunch of flower sketches and drawings from Tangie’s Field Notes kit, and used the Soft Light blending mode on them all, so that they obscured the word, but not too much. I put those over top of both the background paper and the word SEEK. No shadowing on those, either. Then I added a few 3D elements on top of the paper I’d created, for depth. Enough to create some visual depth (I hope!), but not so many that they became the focus of the page. And then it was done!

Thank you so much JaneAgain.  You’ve been great and I’m sure the readers will learn some fun new stuff from your tutorial, I know you’ve inspired me and I hope to try out some of your techniques soon.

If you’re in the USA, I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.  And to all of our other readers, I wish you an enjoyable remainder of the week.

How’d They Do That? 11th Edition

It’s Wednesday!! And (since we didn’t do it last week) that must mean it’s time for another edition of “How’d They Do That?” I just love this article because it’s so fun reading how other people do things AND getting to know a fellow Caravaner all at once. This week we’re going to be taking a look at joannknnrd (aka) JoAnn’s page “Balance Week26” I was completely SHOCKED when I learned how she made this. Read on and you can find out also. It’s not nearly as difficult as it looks : )

First of all, I asked JoAnn a few questions to get to know her. Here is what she had to say:

ME: How long have you been art journaling?
JoAnn: I’ve been doing some form of journaling since my teens but it’s been the
last few years that I’ve been doing it digitally!

ME: How did you get started?
JoAnn: Sometimes it easier for me to get my thoughts and feelings out
visually as opposed to words!

ME: How often do you journal?
JoAnn: I try to do it daily, but have often let it go for months at a time.

ME: What pushes you to journal?
JoAnn: It’s my form of expression. It’s also rewarding to look back and see how far I’ve come!

ME: Do you have a blog you’d like to share with us?

And now… how she did it:
JoAnn: This was actually a pretty easy layout to make. The hardest part was visualizing the prompt of ‘Balance”
Tangie’s paper already had a waterline, but I wanted to emphasize breaking the water, so I manipulated Jofia’s water splash to blend in with Tangie’s existing line. I added a hand with a slight blur and blended a face into the water for some reflection.

JoAnn, thank you so much for sharing. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this installment and look forward to seeing you again in 2 weeks for another.

How’d They Do That? 10th Edition

Happy Wednesday my lovely friends. It’s time for a new edition of “How’d They Do That?” This will be our tenth edition, that means this is the tenth muse you have to look to for inspiration. I hope you enjoy learning how Barbara (Serenoa) made this fabulous page:

And now… a few words from Barbara:

Hi everyone, I’m Barbara (aka Serenoa). I live on a coastal marsh in Georgia with my husband Gordon. We are both retired airline employees, my career being in mainframe computer programming and later in PC network support. I have one grown son who lives in Wisconsin.

Carolyn has asked me to answer a few interview questions about how I started art journaling and my inspiration, techniques and procedures.

My consuming passion for the past 10 years has been genealogy research and family history documentation. I am the designated family historian and embrace the task of preserving my family stories and memories. I have been doing digital scraping for a little more than a year now.

After my mother passed away last year, I spent about 6 months putting together a book which told the story of my mother and father’s lives, with all the photos, documents, and details that I had accumulated. When I started the project, I was unaware of online digital scrapbooking and utilized a book service which provided an online software program and supplied backgrounds, frames, etc. While trying to find additional elements on the internet to use on my book pages, I discovered the world of digital scrapbooking and have been obsessed with it ever since.

I found the ScrapBookGraphics web site about 5 months ago along with Tangie’s Art Journal Caravan. The wonderful layouts of others on the Caravan and SBG’s monthly challenges have inspired me to take my layouts beyond traditional scrapbook pages and into the fascinating realm of digital art graphics. I feel like I have finally found my medium for artistic expression and also a very fun way to use a PC after all my years of technical computer work.

I have never paper scrapped or kept a real paper journal. The computer is just such a familiar tool for me that all my work is digital. I use a PC with 2 large monitors (my eyesight isn‘t that great), Photoshop Elements8 and Picassa software, a Wacom tablet, and digital camera. I never go anywhere without the camera and take photos of everything. You never know when you might need a rusty element or a patch of stained concrete to finish a layout.

I don’t have a personal blog yet, although I have considered starting one. I just worry that I already spend way too many hours sitting in front of my computer.

Carolyn also asked me to explain how I created the layout titled “Best Friends” -

I’ll preface by saying that I usually try out numerous background papers, elements and blending modes until I achieve an effect I like. I rarely use papers and elements in their original size, color, hue, or appearance.

I began the layout with an old photo which was in rather poor shape and roughly extracted my mother and her friend from the background. I did not clean up the photo or the edges of the extraction, as I liked the effect it created.

The bottom layer is a pale grungy paper from Brigit Kerr and over that is a masked paper from Amanda Sexton Parcel2. Both had lowered opacities. I then added a lace piece to the top and another to the bottom, also with lower opacities. A filigree element from Tangie’s Parcel 35 was greatly enlarged and added with a 40% opacity. The left side strip from Parcel 32 was then layered with a blending mode of Luminosity and 35% opacity. The book and wings are from Parcel2 (90% opacity). I split the wings by duplicating the layer and erasing the alternating halves so I could position them where I desired.

The extracted photo was added to the top with a large drop shadow (size 127, distance 160, opacity 74), a brown outline stroke (size 7, opacity 23), and an outer pale yellow glow of 146px and 85% opacity. Drop shadows of varying opacities were added to most of the other elements.

The font used on the journal strips was “Love Ya Like a Sister and the font for the top quote was LainieDay.

How’d They Do That? 9th Edition

Happy Wednesday. What a wonderful week it’s been already. I hope you’re ready to learn some new tips, because today we’re visiting Mejji and learning how she made this page:

ME: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Mejji: What to tell you! I am deeply in love with my husband of 43 years and adore my two daughters who are compassionate about helping others. I am also very passionate about all types and genres of art and literature. Now, that I am no longer teaching after 28 years, I am so lucky to have most of the day to involve myself with either reading or dabbling in digital art (and a few computer games). For awhile I created art dolls (I have sewn since I was three) and different types of altered art, but I have no space for a studio. I love the quirkiness of altered art, but I don’t need a studio for a computer.

ME: What inspires you to journal?
Mejji: I used to write stories and poetry, but now the majority of my journaling is about what I create and why. The act of creating a picture is so fulling, I have to get why I made the picture or the ideas behind the picture down. I think a lot of this is for my daughters so that they’ll know there was another side of me.

ME: How long have you been journaling?
Mejji: As an English teacher, I taught writing for twenty years. When you are trying to get kids to write, you tell them to write about what they know, and what they know best is themselves. This becomes the perfect venue for writing lessons. I learned to model for my students and would share my writing with them. As my grade levels became older, I only wrote about them when creating lessons, quizzes, and tests. The students liked it, but it wasn’t much of an outlet for me.

ME: Is there someone who inspires your pages?
Mejji: Every time I view the Gallery at SBG, I find someone who has created a page that gives me a jolt, but I must say that Serenity’s ability to tell her story has deeply moved me. I don’t think I could ever journal and create such beautiful and meaningful pages to go along with her story as well as she has. I also have to say that a lot of the visual in my work comes from my father’s childhood books (turn of the century). The artwork was exquisite, sometimes scary, and yet always delightful.

ME: Do you create strictly digital pages?
Mejji: Yes, now I work strictly with the computer, but I have a closet full of altered art supplies I must do something with.

ME: Would you mind teaching us how you made this page?
Mejji: “She Was Tired of Building Castles in the Air” comes from a Don McClean song. As soon as I saw Tangie’s prompt, I thought of this song. I found a castle on the internet and extracted it. My first background, as with all the rest, came from Lisette’s Scrap Imagina. I added the castle and the floating island. Then I added another background to frame the picture and lowered the opacity. This background had waterfalls on the sides so I use a dark blending mode to darken the sides. I used Romy 91′s Commedia dell Arte brushes to create the “chasing husband” in the background and the “escaping wife” in the foreground. To give the wife more depth, I duplicated her layer, took the bottom layer, changed the threshold, inverted it, and used Gaussian blur. Then I duplicated the top layer one more time for more depth. This is a story of a woman who is tired of a shallow life of just promises and no results.

A big thank you to Mejji for participating in this week’s feature and I hope that you, dear readers, have enjoyed this post and learned some new tips for your pages.

How’d They Do That? 8th Edition

Howdy folks!! Welcome to the 8th edition of “How’d they do that”. I know it’s been a few seeks since we had one of these features and it may be a while before we have another one- my silly camel is off the beaten path and it may take me a little while to get him turned around and headed back in the right direction. *sigh*

The page I have for you today was featured back on September 5th and is by anneofalamo. The page is called Evidence.
Anne was kind enough to participate in my little interview and provide some tips on how to make this page. I was quite surprised when I learned how she did it. Hope you enjoy.
ME: Tell us a little about yourself:
ANNE: I am a lover of joy, totally immerse myself in it! I am happily married for over 20 years to my best friend and keeper of my secrets. We have 4 children quickly growing, two sons 14 and 12 and twin girls 11. We reside in the northern area of California.

ME: When is your favorite time to work in your journal and do you do it on a regular basis:
ANNE: I am a homeschooling momma, my computer in in the midst of our school area, and I play on that as the kids are schooling. I also am a night owl, and have a hard time sleeping with a layout undone.

ME: Why do you journal:
ANNE: Good question. I don’t have a deep and witty answer, I guess it is just fun. I look forward to the next years Art Caravan and where it will take me.

ME: Do you have a blog or website you’d like to share with us:
ANNE: I have two blogs, scrap one called Anne of Alamo, and then one for my real life here.

ANNE: I kinda giggled over being picked for Evidence-it was a silly photo of spoons I took the evening before in my sink. I played with Tangie’s new and fun kit She Found Her Bliss and it has so much in it, I used a paper and just one element.
I used my eraser tool…and it got rid of my sink, most of it! I then did a blend mode on the spoons, but I lost some of the shiny, so I copied a few of them and stacked them! I wanted to make the spoons be above my journaling, so I extracted the top spoon and made a shadow just for that portion.
I added some splatters on the edge, and that was it.
The journaling is done each on it’s own layer and blended with a linear burn. I think it is called My Type of Font.
This was one of the fastest layouts I have ever made! It really made me smile to be picked. Thank you so much.

Anne, thank you for sharing this page with us and giving us some ideas on how we can achieve this look. It’s bee fabulous getting to know you.

How’d They Do That? 7th Edition

Happy Wednesday every one!! Another week is well underway and the weekend is racing up on us again. What a busy time of the year… I hope you’re still finding some time to play in your art journal. Remember, everyone needs a little ME time.

Thanks for joining me for another edition of “How’d They Do That?” This week I have Cindi (also known as ericksoc at SBG) on board with us. You’ve seen her pages posted on the blog in the past now we have a chance to get to know a little about her and learn some of her secrets. First up is a little interview and then she’s going to tell us how she made this page:

ME: Tell us a little about yourself:
CINDI: I’m a single mom of a 14 year-old and an 8 ½ year-old, working a very non-artistic job by day; scrapbooking, art journaling and creating with my kids in the evening.

How long have you been art journaling:
CINDI: I’ve only started art journaling in the last couple months. I’ve be planning on art journaling for years: collecting things I want to use on my art journals, things I need to express, books on the subject, etc. Then, I found the Art Journal Caravan in April (late to the party!), and since I had fallen in love with digital scrapbooking by that time, I knew this was the way I’d finally do it. I’ve been so excited to find so many cool things to use on my pages and inspiring work that others are doing. I think I’m going to have to take on a second job so I can buy all the goodies that the designers have been bringing out to be used for art journaling lately. At first, I was afraid to put anything out there, but after lurking for a few months, I finally felt brave enough to share, and I’ve been boosted by the thoughtful comments that the other members of the caravan have given me. I also started working on a paper journal that I can take along with me.

When is your favorite time to work in your journal and do you do it on a regular basis:
CINDI: I like to work at night, after the kids are in bed or on the weekends when there is no one around. I still feel the pull of responsibility to tending to everyone else’s needs when my family is around, but in the rare moments that I have all to myself, I put on some good music (Glen Hansard, the Once soundtrack and Paramore are current favorites while I’m creating) and get to work. In my head, though, I’m always thinking about what I want to do, so when I do get a moment to sit down and work in my journal, I’m never (usually) at a loss as to what I want to do.

Why do you journal:
CINDI: Although I’ve always enjoyed writing, I’ve never been very good at keeping a written journal. When I discovered art journaling, I knew I might be able to get some of my ideas out of my head and onto paper. I guess I have always worried about the privacy of my written journals, but with my art journal, I can say things with images that only I understand, or I can put it into words. That way, I control the privacy of what I’m journaling.

Do you have a blog or website you’d like to share with us:
CINDI: My blog is called So, That’s Why and can be found here: I share my scrapbooking layouts and thoughts on creating here, along with observations about my kids, my family, my friends, with a little inspiration thrown in every now and then. I’ve designed my page intentionally using my “happy” colors – orange, pink, and white.

ME: Would you mind sharing with us how you made “No More Lost Time”?

CINDI: I created this page after a discussion with my mother about how, as a parent, I chose to put my adult life on hold for a little while to raise good, thoughtful children. It was an eye-opening discussion because I realized that, in being a 99% Mom meant there was only 1% Cindi. She let me know that it wasn’t really necessary to shut all the fun out of my life to do a good job at being a mom. Not that I’m complaining, but now that my kids are at ages where they can contribute more at home and need less supervision, I’ve found myself starting to feel a little more like me again. I’ve come out of the shadows, I’ve learned a new hobby and I’ve started spending more time doing things I liked to do before I was 99% Mom. Life with my kids has been a blast, but in a different way than my life as an adult without kids was. I’m ready for more of a balance.
In the page, I’m the hand reaching out of the shadows for the key. I’m noticing the image of the key showing up in my pages, lately, as if I can finally see the key. I’m ready to join the party again. The AJC Provisions for the week I created this had an ominous looking box that I used for the place I’ve been. Less of a scary place, and more like a dark room. The flowers are in the shadows and starting to flow out of the dark as well. I created them part dark, part color flowers by making a gray toned flower and putting it over the colored image, and then erasing the part of the gray flower that I wanted to be in color and then finally linking the images and simplifying them. I’m sure there is a better way to do that, but it worked for me. The door was the floor of the stage from Tangie Baxter’s, MUSEical Theatre kit that I cropped and skewed to look like an opening door. On the outside, is all the fun I could find!
ME: Cindi, thank you SO much for sharing with us. Your pages are very inspiring. See you all this weekend for more highlights of the week.

How’d They Do That? 6th Edition

Hello friends. Welcome to yet another edition of “How’d They Do That”. This week we’re going to be taking a look into the creative force of Margaret (aka- cmmargaret at the SBG forums). Margaret has agreed to teach us how she made this stunning page:

First, a little Q&A with Margaret. Enjoy.

ME: Tell us a little about yourself
MARGARET: My name is Margaret and I live in Southwest Florida with my husband, Mike, my ten year old daughter, Jessica, and our Welch Terrier named Simon. I am a registered nurse working in a surgery center.

ME: How long have you been art journaling
MARGARET: I have only been art journaling since I started the Art Journal Caravan in January.

ME: When is your favorite time to work in your art journal and do you do it on a regular basis
MARGARET: I would love to be able to keep a paper art journal but everytime I start I go back to the digital world. I do keep an everyday jounque journal which I started late this year after seeing Tangies videos. I recently started a travel journal but that too had digital elements incorporated in it-I can’t seem to stay away! I work on my journal weekly and try to keep up with the Art Journal Caravan prompts. I find them a great inspiration and the journey has been a lot of fun. I usually work on my art journal early in the morning. Sometimes this is the only free time I have that I can concentrate on ME! I am not sure this is my favorite time-I would prefer to stay up late and work into the wee hours but my schedule does not permit that!

ME: Why do you journal
MARGARET: To be honest I am not sure. Someone once said that a life worth living is worth writing down (Socrates?). I like that. And I guess you could say that I use that as my inspiration-or when I am trying to get my daughter to write in her own journal! I am not really good at examining my thoughts but I do like to pick out and illustrate quotes that can speak for me.

ME: Will you teach us some of your tips and tricks that you used in making “Enjoy”?
MARGARET: For Enjoy I started with the Art Journal prompt. I usually take a few days to mull over the prompt. Sometimes I use the quote Tangie supplies other times I look for one of my own. Next comes the photo. Sometimes I use one of my own more often I use a vintage photo from the Library of Congress or Florida State archives. For this layout I started by enlarging the photo. I digitally”cut out” just the ferris wheel and then converted it to a stamped image. I use a design program from Creative Memories (no I am not a consultant). I placed the image on a background that was composed of two layers-a black and white swirl over which a texture white was added. I played around with the opacity of the white layer until I achieved a look I liked. I added the splatter and star-trimming and adjusting the opacity when necessary. I added the ribbon and star border to anchor the ferris wheel and tie in with the splattered stars. I then added the doodled flowers over the spokes of the ferris wheel and decided that this made the perfect perch for a little green birdie! Finally a text box was created and the quote placed on the page.

ME: I hope you all enjoyed this edition of “How’d they do that?” and that you’ve learned a little something. I know I have and I look forward to trying out some of Margaret’s techniques. Thank you, Margaret, for sharing with us.

How’d They Do That? 5th Edition

Welcome to the 5th edition of “How’d They Do That”. I hope you enjoy this edition’s tutorial. Today we’re going to learn a little about Cynthia and learn how she made this fabulous page:

Tell us a little about yourself.
Cynthia: I’m Cynthia, I live in Cozumel, Mexico, a tiny island on the Mexican Caribbean with my 3-going-on-30 girl, dh Sal (who’s 41-going-on-4) and 3 crazy Westies. I’m a free-lance photographer, shooting mostly weddings and kids, and work from home as a wedding coordinator for the hotel dh manages. I love reading, cooking, movies, and scrapping is my outlet, I’ve been lucky enough to meet IRL a few scrapping addicts and I consider them some of my closest friends. Photography is my passion and I hope to have my own studio someday, hopefully soon. I have a degree in Spanish and Latin American Lit, but sadly have never used it, I also hope to get my Master’s in English or Italian Lit down the road. Ah, so many plans, so little time.

ME: How long have you been art journaling?
Cynthia: I started the Caravan in January but regretfully haven’t comitted as much time as I’d like to it, sometimes real life interferes more than I like it to. Hopefully this mention will get my butt a well deserved kick in the right direction.

ME: When is your favorite time to work in your art journal and do you do it on a regular basis?
Cynthia: I’m mostly a night owl, but since my girl is at school in the mornings, now I’m becoming more of a morning person, since that is “my time” and can work mostly uninterrupted. I was pretty regular at first but now I’m very much a slacker, let’s hope that that changes asap!

ME: Why do you journal?
Cynthia: To be perfectly honest, I don’t journal much, for the AJC I mostly grab the idea and try to get the concept across with images, rather than words. I think that mostly my internal critic comes off too strong at times to really let me go, but I’m working on silencing that nagging voice, since I know I do have stories to tell.

ME: Do you have a blog where we can follow you?
Cynthia: Nope, still haven’t jumped into the 21st Century.

Now to the tut (in case I haven’t bored you to tears):
First, I chose the background paper and warped it to get the “floor”. Grab your Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a rectangle at the bottom, about 2-3 inches high, depending on where you’d like your “floor” to meet the “wall”. Go to edit: transform: perspective and grab the lower corner and just pull to the left (or right if you chose that side)
Once you think your floor is distorted to your liking, click enter and deselect your rectangle. Grab your burn tool and set it to a low opacity, like 50% and just draw a line where the wall and floor meet, to create the illusion of the angle.
Now to the fun part:
Type the word you want in a very bold font, in white, and then lower the opacity until you can only see a very faint outline. You can also change the blending mode to overlay or screen, depending on the paper you chose as your background.
Then, in the same font, or one that’s very similar, start typing words at random. What I did actually was type a whole list, rasterized the entire text layer, and then proceeded to cut each word out individually. You can also type some words in red or another color to give those words more visibility. I used the following quote:
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”
and typed every word in red and caps.
When you have your words all typed and cut into individual layers, you need to start placing them inside your main word or title, make them smaller or bigger to fit, rotate them, or even warp them at times to really fill up every space.
Do the same for the individual letters, cut them and resize them as you wish. I tried to make a triangle of sorts to make it seem like the letters were coming from the typewriter and then falling into the title. You can also use some other words and place them outside your word to make it seem as if they’re falling from your title.
I added some clouds to give more depth, and voila!

I hope you all enjoyed today’s edition of How’d They Do That?
See you back in 2 weeks for another installment.


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We give 100% full credit to any images used on this blog and links back to the original blogs or when being inspired from Pinterest or any other site. We also try to obtain permission whenever possible. We are simply trying to spread the love of art with everyone. If we have shared a piece of your art you would like us to remove, we surely will, just use the "Contact" page.