Art Journaling with Jenny & Aaron Class #4

Welcome to Week 4! We feel like everyone involved is gaining momentum and ready to make bigger bolder statements. This week's spread is all about having fun. It's loose, bright, and perfectly random. Make sure you pull out some things you love...colors that you absolutely live for...images that capture the essence of who you are. There aren't any rules...but these are the "rules" for this week: Make your pages personal. Say what you want to say. Make them YOU.

Who's ready to have some FUN?!!

As with last week's class, we made a video slide show. Of course on it's own it only gives an idea of each step, so we included full detailed instructions for you to follow along. In the upper left corner of each photo in the slide show you'll see a title. In the instructions we've titled each step with those same titles so that you'll have an image to match each step. You can view the video once, or twice, or more...pause where you'd like, rewind, fast it here on the blog, full screen, or on youtube. 


gather your elements. It's great to have an arsenal of favorite things. Scrapbooking papers, bits of vintage wallpaper, stickers, trims, old photos, etc...But the real fun starts when you start to gather the few things that will define your spread.

prep your pages. We're working in a Moleskine, so the pages are thin and need to be bolstered. We actually covered both pages with Kraft paper and then coated one page with gesso. To do the Kraft paper (or postal wrapping paper) Just cut a piece that's a tiny bit bigger than your page and adhere with decoupage medium. Rub until all the wrinkles and bubbles are gone. Let dry. Once dry then apply a thick coat of gesso to one page. Let dry.  After your gesso is dry run a piece of masking tape down the seam of the journal. This actually does reinforce your binding and it makes for a smoother transition from page to page.
apply gesso with a palette knife. On the page with the raw kraft paper we knew the focal point was going to be in the center of the page so we were only interested in putting gesso in the center. We were going for a messy, piled up look so we applied a thick coat of gesso with a palette knife. This textured effect worked even better because we used gesso by Deco Art, which is super thick and heavy.

crosshatch your gesso. simply run your palette knife through the gesso on the page in opposing directions. I did vertical and horizontal strokes. You can also go diagonal. Do this to your desired effect.

grab a stamp. We like to vary the ways that we bring pattern to a page. Patterned papers are great but you want to add variety...sometimes stencils are called for...and in this case we used a big stamp with a polka dot pattern.

stamp a pattern. We went for a messy, spotty, sketchy look. Haphazardly brush paint onto your stamp in varying shades. Then stamp down in an equally haphazard manner.

repeat on other page. When switching to the opposing page we changed from tan paint to aqua.

speckle. We use a #6 round brush...load it with the watered down paint...hold the brush a few inches above your page...and just tap the metal end with your index finger. Do it to your desired effect. We love speckling for it's imperfection. It's messy and haphazard and perfect in it's own way.

adhere papers. After selecting papers and choosing where they'll go on your spread, then it's time to make your final tears and cuts and adhere them to the pages. To adhere papers brush on decoupage medium and lay the papers on the wet medium. It's better to be generous with the medium. If you apply too little you won't get good adhesion. Smooth and rub to eliminate ripples and bubbles. Now that the pages are dry, apply a sealer coat of matte gel medium. I use Golden brand. Let dry.

more speckles & gluestick dots. Again, speckling is no exact science. You'll see all sorts of drips and spots of paint on these pages. I even loaded the brush with watered down paint and then squeezed the bristles while holding them above the page, forming tiny puddles of wash on the page. Be careful to hold the book flat if you don't want the speckles to run. Blow dry from a safe distance to speed up the drying. Also, once again I dipped a gluestick in paint and made spots wherever necessary. 

cut image in half. I chose a large flower from a piece of scrapbooking paper and cut it in half. I did this because I wanted the image to come on and off the page, thus spreading out the floral theme.

adhere to top & bottom of page. Just line up either straight edge with the edge of your page and adhere onto opposing ends of the page.

trace circles. We used a clear cap from a can of picture hanging brackets to trace circles onto the page. Trace wherever you think you need a big spot of solid color.

paint in circles. We used a #6 round brush to paint in our circles with aqua and pale pink paint. It only took one coat because it was quality paint. You might need two coats if you want a solid look.

washi tape time! Washi tape is a great way to add color and pattern wherever your layout is lacking.

apply tape to seam. When working in a moleskine or any bound journal, I always add washi tape to the seam. It's just my personal preference. To me it just looks right.

adhere papers.  After assessing the pages more I decided more papers were needed. Adhere them where necessary, let dry and then apply a sealer coat of matte gel medium. Let dry.

distress edges using paint. We love to "distress" the edges of our pages with paint. This process is very imperfect. Just dip your thumb or finger in paint and rub the very edge of the page.

add paint wherever it feels right! As I said above with the speckling...add more paint wherever you think a pop of color is needed. And experiment with methods. There are no rules.

pause to show that we are  creatures of habit. Midway through the process we realized that our pages looked exactly like our living room. But in a totally indirect abstract manner. Each element is mimicked by another element. And this was totally coincidence.

grab your Sharpie pen! I've said it a million times...Sharpie pens are great for Art Journaling. Little bits of black are always welcome in my book and fine line details add another layer of texture.

doodle some words. We wanted one of our pages to feature one big statement in clear bold letters. A font like this is easy to do...take a look at it, give it a try...I'm sure you can do an equivalent. Write it in pencil first on watercolor paper. And once you've got it right, then trace over your pencil lines with Sharpie pen. Then cut out each word.

cut out your main image. We adhered our pic of Lia Lane's painting to a piece of watercolor paper, let dry, and then cut it out with decorative edged scissors.

 adhere. Adhere it to your page, creating a large focal point image. We pressed down the image using a clean dry paper towel, just to be careful not to mess up her face with our bare, could-be-sticky fingers

adhere words. Words are a great focal point because they can be spaced however you whatever works for the page.

needed white speckles! Yes, just when you thought the speckling was over...we just needed a pop and splash of white.

sequins! We had this black sequin trim but we only needed a few single we just pulled them apart.

add sequins. Sequins are great when you've already got a polka dot theme going on. They add texture and shimmer. We adhered ours with little dots of plain old Elmers glue.

gold stars! I told Aaron to look for some gold star stickers the next time he went to Staples. Sure enough, they had 'em, in the teacher's section. I love a gold star every once in a bolsters the self esteem.

gold stars & sequins! It really is the little things that make all the difference. These silly details give the spread it's's attitude.

looking good! It is looking good...but another layer seems necessary.

add some trims. That's what was missing...fabric. This tiny bit of lace trim...a little rick rack...and that itty bitty strip of leopard print paper! They make all the difference. To adhere the fabric bits we dabbed the lace and the rick rack with Elmers glue.

Hooray! This is a bold spread. It shouts but doesn't scream. It's big and fun...with oversized images and tiny details.


Supplies used on these pages:

Papers used:

 black and white floral - Hambly "garden party"
aqua damask - Hambly "mini brocade"
leopard print - me & my BIG ideas
pink and white stripe - 
*this was a piece we had and couldn't find the name but if you'd like a paper very similar  try: Echo Park "Homefront Dots & Stripes Collection"

watercolor paper
 kraft paper or postal wrapping paper
 photos of personal art collection, artist Lia Lane

Assorted mediums and tools: 

palette knife
 Sharpie pen
 assorted acrylic paints by Blick and Golden
 matte gel medium by Golden 
Blick gesso
Deco Art gesso
 gold star stickers
 assorted washi tape
 large polka dot stamp by Inkadinkado
 rick rack
 vintage lace trim  

Thanks so much for joining us this week! We are having a lot of fun...and from the blog link ups and emails we're receiving it looks like you guys are too. Lets spread the word...tell your friends...and feel free to grab the above button to display on your blog or facebook page.
And once again, if you've done any art journaling this week and if you will be this coming week...come back here and link it up below. 

xo, Jenny & Aaron


  1. These classes you have been doing are just perfect!!! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful tips!!!

  2. Haha it's Jenny in the morning! This is soooo cute! Love your always-inspirational quotes. =)

  3. This is so neat! I am a new follower and just discovered this. I am definitely going to have to try this when I get settled into my new home. (All my craft supplies are over there!) :]

    ♥ Emily

  4. @Julie Tucker- Wolek Thanks so much!!! Happy you like them! :) Would love to see your journal! :) xo

  5. @Kelsea Echo haha yep it is!! and laaaaate at night too! ;) Thanks bunches!! We've been loving your pages too!! xo

  6. @Emily Elizabeth Hi! Nice to meetcha! Thanks so much for following, and for your sweet words! Would love to have you journaling along! :)


  7. great spread and even greater words of wisdom! Thanks again Jenny and Aaron for all your hard work

    ~Chelsea Ann

  8. Another wonderful class. Thanks bunches for the inspiration.

  9. Hello, guys! Your classes are very inspiring! I know I'm a bit late but appreciate any feedback :) Just uploaded my link...

    Thanks in advance

  10. Thanks ) I think, we all here need more of Art Journaling - you inspire us!)


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xo Jenny & Aaron

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