Current Journals and Set Up

I am a huge journal hoarder…there.  I said it.  And you know what, I don’t feel guilty about it either ūüôā  I especially love leather journals.  Something about the feel and smell of leather just feels like home to me.  And that is why I can’t get enough of them.  I thought that I would share with you the current journals that I am using and how I am using them.  I thought that it would be easier to share it with you in a video.  You can check the video out HERE.

If you would like to check out the journals and inserts that I have shown you in the video, see the links listed below.  As always, thanks for hanging’ with me and remember to keep art in your heart!

Sojourner- Americana, Artist Traveler, Designer, Inserts

Resting Fox Journal

The Odyssey Deluxe in Athena

The Simple Pouch (Small, I said Medium in the Video but it’s small)

Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Stalogy Notebook

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook

Growing Up Goddess Calendar

ID Badge Turned TN Pocket

Paws Plan Create Christmas Planner


ID Badge Turned TN Pocket

I recently started journaling in a B6 size Travelers Notebook. ¬†The inserts that I use in my B6 journal are 5″x7″.

My husband went to an event where he was given an extra large ID badge holder, similar to the one pictured below. ¬†It measures approximately 7 7/8″x4 1/2″. ¬†You can find them¬†HERE.


Being the great husband that he is and knowing not to throw anything away before checking with me first, he asked if I could use it for anything.  My current B6 journal is a Sojourner Journal from Rowena.  It has an exterior pocket on the front but no interior pockets.


When my husband asked me about his ID badge holder, I thought, “Hey, I may be able to turn that into a dashboard/pocket for my journal.

First, I collaged both sides of a piece of thin cardboard.  The cardboard I used was the thin kind that you find on the front and/or back of your scrapbook paper pads.  You could even use a piece of card stock.  I simply glued bits of collage elements (papers, stickers, etc.) with a glue stick.  I also added some doodles with a black pen and a white gel pen.

Next, I used a corner rounder to round the edges of my collaged cardboard.

I took the cardboard and ran it through my laminating machine. ¬†You could also just use packing tape to “laminate” your cardboard. ¬†Once it is laminated or covered in tape, simply trim around the cardboard leaving some of the plastic/tape around the edge so that it doesn’t come apart.


Finally, I measured the distance between my first elastic and insert in my journal and the last elastic/insert in my journal.  That distance creates the spine of my pocket/dashboard.  I then took packing tape and taped together my collaged cardboard, turned dashboard, and my pocket.  I taped both sides, extending the tape approximately one inch on each side of the pocket and the dashboard.  I also cut almost a half circle in each end of the spine (packing tape) to allow it to sit comfortably under the elastics of my journal.ID-Badge-TN-Pocket-5_web

And here is my dashboard/pocket inside of my journal.


I hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you make your own dashboard/pocket for your journal, I would love to see it!

June 2017 Artsnacks

It’s time for another Artsnacks unboxing video and let me just say, I was pretty darn happy with this month’s products! ¬†Check them out¬†HERE!

Did you receive an Artsnacks box this month? ¬†What did you think and what colors of supplies did you receive? ¬†I’d love to know!

Thanks for watching guys and gals.

Creative Business- Under the Willow

I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the most beautiful people that I know who own a creative business called Under the Willow.  This husband and wife duo make the most beautiful handcrafted signs that have fun and inspirational quotes.

 Check out what Jon and Heather Hill had to say about their creative business.

Q:  What made you begin creating signs?

A: ¬†I actually started over twelve years ago and sold them in a little shop‚Ķ I think because I saw some and thought ‚Äúhey I could do that‚ÄĚ I only made them for a couple years and then recently before the birth of my second child I saw one I loved on Fixer Upper. I wanted it for his nursery but could not afford it, so I made one. So then it began! Again! ‚ÄďHeather-

I started making signs after Heather asked me to help her make a couple signs for our little guy’s nursery about two years ago. It has evolved into a small business. -Jon-


Q: ¬†Where did the name ‚ÄúUnder the Willow‚ÄĚ come from?

A: ¬†Jon and I were actually married Under a Willow Tree at Edgewater Park in Cleveland Ohio‚Ķ That is where our adventure began ‚ÄďHeather-


Q:  What is your favorite part about your creative business?

A:  Working with Heather to create unique signs and the smiles on our customers faces when they see the final product. -Jon-


Q:  Do you enjoy working with your spouse?

A: Yes. Although fulfilling orders can be stressful and demanding in our schedule, it amazes me what we can do as a team. I am blessed. -Jon-


Q:  Do the two of you have assigned tasks that you do to complete a sign?

A:  Yes, Jon constructs everything. He is amazing and detailed. Always has all of the measurements and knows exactly what sign is what & who it belongs to.  I usually design them and paint.  Jon also does all of the base color on the signs and stains the frames.  If it wasn’t for him I would be supplying customers with a puddle of paint. -Heather-

I handle the woodworking portion of the sign, which includes roughing in the base and finishing with the trim. Heather is the artistic genius in our business. She has vision and turns a pile of wood into a work of art. -Jon-


Q:  How do you promote your creative business?

A:  At first it was word of mouth only and that kept us pretty busy. People kept asking about a website so we decided to start a facebook and instagram page. We have some homemade business cards and tags. -Heather-



Q:  How long have you been creating signs and when did you decide to make it a business?

A: About two years and my wife asked me to help her with a project for our baby’s nursery. -Jon-


Q:  What is the most rewarding part of your creative business?

A:  Working with Heather to create some cool stuff and seeing the joy our signs bring to our customers. -Jon-

Definitely seeing customers smile. -Heather-


Q:  Where can people purchase your pieces?

A: Right now the only shop that has them in stock is The Urban Nest in Beaufort, South Carolina, but we sell them on our facebook page. ‚Äď Heather-


Q:  Where can people follow you on social media and get in contact with you?

A: Instagram:  @under.the.willow_

Facebook:   Under The Willow

Haul Video

So I recently purchased some new art goodies and thought that I would share them with you HERE in this YouTube video.

I have linked most of the items or where you can find the items below.  If you have purchased any of these products, leave a comment and let me know what you think about them.

ArtisticKatt-Daniel Smith Watercolor Half Pans and Tin

Sojourner Journal and Inserts

Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers

Daphne’s Diary Magazine

Art Journaling Magazine

Leather Carrier

Washi Tape

Uni Pin Fineliner Pens

Twsbi Mini Fountain Pen

Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen Ink Samples

Travelers Notebook Insert (Volume #1)

I finally finished my first Midori Travelers Notebook insert. ¬†The paper in this insert is the Midori paper in 003. ¬†It took watercolor and ink beautifully. ¬†After I decorated the covers of the insert, I covered it in clear contact paper. ¬†I thought that you may enjoy watching as i flip through my volume one insert, as I know one of my favorite videos to watch are ones where I get to see someone’s completed journals. ¬†You can watch the video¬†HERE¬†and¬†I hope you enjoy!

I recently taught a private class that I like to call “Pieces of Art.” ¬†The class was held at my friend Heather’s beautiful home. ¬†I am so grateful that she opened up her home to me and the other beautiful souls that created with us. ¬†Everyone’s artwork looked amazing!

If you are interested in taking a class at my studio in Bucyrus, Ohio or would like me to bring the class to you and your friends in a private lesson, just email me. ¬†It is always a good time ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by and remember to always keep art in your heart.

March 2017 Artsnacks

This month marked Artsnacks four year anniversary and they tried to help celebrate with this months box. ¬†I felt that the box fell a little flat for me. ¬†It contained products that I enjoy using but it didn’t contain any WOW products for me. ¬†Long story short, I didn’t love this month’s box but I didn’t hate it either. ¬†Although I thought that all of the products were good quality art supplies. ¬†Check out the unboxing video¬†HERE!

Must Have Art Journal Supplies

I journal in all types of journals, from watercolor journals to vintage books that I repurpose into art journals.  I keep a journal for watercolor artwork only, I have journals that were made to take all types of media and ones that are vintage books that I prep to be used with all types of media.  This can be done by adding gesso to the pages before you begin your art journaling.  I also keep a daily journal in my Traveler’s Notebook that I use mainly for collage, watercolors and journaling.  Because I practice different journaling techniques, I keep different journals and use different supplies.  I have compiled a list of my Must Have Art Journaling Supplies.  Of course, these may not be every art journalers basic supplies but they are supplies that I go to time and time again.

First and most important supply is a JOURNAL.


As you can see above, there are many options and this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Starting at the top left is my Traveler’s Notebook that I use for my daily journaling, my vintage record book that I have turned into an art journal, a small spiral bound journal, a small mixed media art journal and finally a small pamphlet style journal that I bound myself.  You can use a journal that is stitched or a spiral bound journal.  I prefer the stitched journals because I feel that the two-page spreads are more cohesive whereas the spiral bound journals have a gap between the spread.  Again, this is personal preference.  Once you begin art journaling, you will start to see what style you prefer.  Just be sure  that you purchase or make a journal that has heavier weight paper (96lbs. or more), or paper that can withstand wet media such as watercolors and acrylic paint.



If you plan to use wet media in your journal, then a permanent and waterproof black pen and/or marker are a must.  The last thing you want is to have your writing or artwork ruined when you run a wet brush over it.  The two options above, Faber Castell PITT artist pen and Krink marker, are both great options.  There are also many other options out there.  Just be sure that when you shop for a pen or marker that it says waterproof, otherwise, I wouldn’t take the risk.

Another must have art supply is the WHITE WATER BASED SHARPIE PAINT MARKER.


This supply is great for doodling, lettering and adding highlights because it is super opaque.  You can also find these Sharpie Paint Markers in oil based but I recommend the water based.  They seem to flow and show up better.

Something else that I use in my journals are RUBBER STAMPS




I love all types of rubber stamps for my art journals, especially numbers and letters.  You can use the numbers to add dates in your daily journal or letters to create quotes or to make bold statements in your journals.  I strongly recommend Ranger’s Archival Jet Black Ink because it is permanent and waterproof.  They also have many other colors of ink, which I love, but the one color that I use constantly is the black.

And you can’t live without ADHESIVES.

Sometimes I prefer to use matte or gel medium when I’m gluing down collage material and ephemera.  Other times I am just gluing collage items and photos down with a glue stick or a dry adhesive.  (Starting at the far left)  The matte medium is very runny and can be used to adhere papers to a journal page.  The gel medium has a thicker consistency and can be used to glue down heavier papers and other materials.  A brush is used to apply both mediums to your work surface.  Of course everyone knows how a glue stick works.  I purchased the UHU stick at Dick Blick’s and love it.  I also have pictured the Tombow Liquid Glue which I also like because it has a pointy end for small objects and a larger, rubber tip for bigger surfaces.  On the far right is the dry adhesive or also called a tape runner.  It is basically double sided tape.  This is probably the least messy of all of the options.

Of course you need COLLAGE MATERIALS AND/OR EPHEMERA to add to your journal pages.


I keep this small bin on my art table that contains all types of ephemera.  Some of it is purchased and some of it is from art projects that I worked on.  I also keep anything that interests me, such as tags from clothing, fabric and postage stamps.

Another supply that is great to use in art journaling is MATTE ACRYLIC PAINT.


Why matte paint you ask?  Well, when you use other acrylic paints in your journal that are not matte, the pages in your journal tend to stick together, causing your beautiful artwork to be damaged when you go to peel the pages apart.  I’m not saying that I only use matte paints in my art journal but I strongly recommend them.

I’m currently enjoying working in my daily journal with WATERCOLORS.


You can purchase so many different brands of watercolors and you can find them in pans and in tubes.  I suggest purchasing a cheap set of pan watercolors to see if you like using them before you invest in an expensive set.  The paints shown above are Daniel Smith Watercolors, which are considered extra fine watercolors.  I strongly recommend them if you decide to invest in a nice set.  I also have cheap pan watercolors that I use from time to time as well.  It just depends on what you like.  You may decide that you prefer only acrylic paints and that’s fine.  Or, you may be like me and go through phases.  I may use watercolors consistently for months but the I may switch to using acrylic paints for the next several months instead of my watercolors.  I just go with what makes me happy at that moment in time.

Of course you can’t apply your acrylic paint or watercolors to your journal without PAINTBRUSHES.


There are all kinds of brands and types of paintbrushes.  The big thing to pay attention to is if you are using the right type of brush for the media that you will be working with.  In other words, do not, I repeat, Do Not, use your watercolor brushes in your acrylic paint.  That will ruin your brushes.  Some brushes are made to be used with acrylic and watercolor, then it is fine.  But if the brush is strictly made for watercolor, be sure to only use it for watercolor.  I really like the Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor brushes and Princeton brushes for acrylic painting.  You can also find cheaper brushes to get you started, which also work well.  I suggest that you purchase a few different brush styles.  Pictured above, starting at the left, is a flat brush, a filbert brush and a round brush.  I would recommend getting several sizes of each, including a very small round brush for detail work.  Of course, as you get going on your art journaling adventure, you will learn what type of brushes work best with your style.

One art supply that I absolutely cannot live without is GESSO.


You can find gesso in white, black, gray and clear.  I use all three in my art journals.  As I had mentioned earlier, gesso can help add weight and tooth to pages that may be thin.  This will help you to build media on top.  If you like the background of your page and don’t want to cover it up but need to stiffen it up a bit, you can add clear gesso to it.  Just a little side note, gesso is very rough so if you plan to do a lot of journaling or writing on a page, you may not want to gesso the who page or any of the page.  It can ruin your pens with its rough texture and make it difficult to write on.  Of course, if you add paint on top of the gesso, that may help.  Gesso is also really good for applying paint and allowing the paint to be easier to manipulate on the page.

If you are going to work with a lot of wet media in your journal, it is a necessity to have a HEAT TOOL.


The heat tool will allow you to dry your work in stages quickly so you don’t have to wait for it to dry on its own before moving on to the next step on your pages.

And one of the most simple but most important tools if you want to sketch or draw in your journal is a PENCIL and and good eraser.


I love to use mechanical pencils but sometimes I also like to use other types of pencils as well.  You will learn which you prefer as you practice.  I also recommend a separate eraser (not pictured).

So there you have it.  The main art journaling supplies that I use and can’t live without.  I hope that if you are new to art journaling, this has helped you in finding a place to start.  I know that it can be so overwhelming trying to understand art supplies and which ones that you need to get started.  Again, every art journaler is different and this is my personal preference.

Also, I wanted to ask for your support in a Pet Portrait contest that I am in for BLICK art materials.  The winner is based on the number of votes and if you would be so kind to vote for my piece, I will be forever grateful.  The portrait is of my English Bulldog, Bentley, that passed away one week ago.


Voting started on February 27, 2017 and ends on March 5, 2017.  You can vote for King Bentley HERE.  Thanks again for your support and for stopping by the blog!