I was so excited to start this week’s Inspiby challenge. Karen and I have been amassing art journals. Yes I know, how many journals does one gal truly need? Well, a lot! Haha! Especially when you are learning. (No, truly you don’t need that many!) Karen chose this week’s inspiring layout with the intentions of using the black Dylusions journal. I could have sworn I had that journal as well. Blame my Mom brain or sleep deprivation but alas, I do not have that journal after all. (It IS on my wish list but I just haven’t gotten that far down the list yet.)

So, what is one to do?

Well, use my regular Dylusions journal of course! I could black gesso the pages, or maybe I could glue in black paper to the journal. Wracking my brain I remembered that Karen had sent me some Dylusions pages that could be taped into your journal. (She’s really good like that! Always sharing and giving me brilliant goodies, not to mention being a fabulous friend too!)


I pulled the black pages out and taped them together (on the back side) using some washi tape. I just added the new Finnabair Impastos to my ever growing art supply collection, so naturally, I wanted to use those. I also knew that I really wanted to use the brayer to roll on some ink! Using the Iced Spruce Distress Oxide ink,  down went the first layer of color. (Does anyone else get butterflies when breaking a blank page with color? *wink)

I found this fabulous spongey texture thingy (I have no idea what it’s really called.) and decided that I would use it to add the next layer of color to the page with the Impastos in the colors Azure, Cobalt, Jade and of course a bit of Snow White.  (A tidbit about me: Snow White just happens to be my all time favorite Disney Princess.)

After creating what was going to be my sky area, I used the Impastos again this time with Dark Chocolate and Green to lay down my ‘ground’ area using the same technique. Since I am all about the layers, I reached for my stencils next.

I created some sky details with this fabulous Joggles Cyclone stencil. I used a makeup wedge to sponge on the color with chipped sapphire distress ink. To detail the ground area I used ‘Scalloped Row’ (from Joggles as well), ‘Decodots’ from Cartabella, the ‘brick stencil THMM2’ from Tim Holtz and the ‘Art Is Script’ stencil (pictured below) from Donna Downey Studios.

I’m not the best at cleaning my stencils, as you can see. Truthfully, I love the layers of color and the fact that it shows ‘love’ from usage. I added more distress inks and through the stencils. Once I was happy with the look of the stencil layers and colors, I admit it did take a couple tries and different inks to get the look I was after,  I grabbed for my stamp. It just so happens that I had the perfect stamp set for it as well! The Fly away stamp set from Clarity Stamp comes with two stamps, the tree and also the fly away boy. I love this set so much! I stamped the trees using the masking technique.  I ripped a scrap page in half and strategically placed it over the brick wall area so that when I stamped down the tree the branches would look as though they were peeking over the top of the wall. (I did not get a picture of this, but you can see the outcome in the finished journal page.)

I wanted the boy to cross over both pages, knowing this would be difficult once I was ready to glue the pages into the book, I strategically placed him so that it wouldn’t be too hard to line up both sides of the stamp when I went to glue the pages in.  While I am used to stamping with my Misti, in my rush to complete my page on time, I just hand stamped him on. He didn’t stamp perfectly, but the great thing about stamping with black ink is that you can just color in the parts that didn’t stamp as well! (see picture below)

Just be sure to make sure that the pen ink is dry before you move on so you don’t smear your stamped image. I hand wrote my sentiment quote. I really am trying harder to use my handwriting more often in my layouts. I fussed and fussed with it a bit too much thinking it needed to look fancier but in the end, I just had to call it good and move on.

To finish off the layout, I prepped my pages to glue into my journal. I just love the sookwang double sided tape. It’s super heavy duty strong, comes in many different sizes and once stuck, it won’t come back up again. Having said that, I have a little trick I like to use, especially when I know that I need to have a little wiggle room with my papers. GLUE STICK! Yep, it sounds a bit ridiculous using two gluing mediums but the glue stick swiped over the whole back of the taped paper gives you a couple extra seconds of wiggle time so that you can fit your page into the exact placement you want. While I would love to be able to take credit for such a fabulous tip, I learned it from Jennifer Harrison of Jen of Eve Designs. (You should look her up! She makes amazing mini books and scrapbooks.)

Once glued in, I rubbed the front of both my pages and also flipped each page over and put a little pressure the back of it, making sure that it adhered well. While I had originally intended this layout to be a sunny daytime scene, the hints of black peeking through the blues in the sky almost give it a midnight feel. I have an affinity for galaxies, they always seem to somehow creep their way into my pages but that’s Ok with me! (*spoiler alert: wait until you see what I chose for next week’s Inspiby challenge prompt!)

To see some close-up shots, be sure to check out my Instagram. I would love to have you join me on my art journey! Don’t forget to post your #inspiby finished pages as well.  Even if you’re behind on prompts don’t worry, post when you can and don’t forget to tag me because I would love to join you on your art journey as well!

Happy Creating!


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