Planning with Jane (Well Jane’s Supplies!)

Today I’m going to be Planning with Jane – Jane Davenport that is – though sadly not in person!  Instead, I’m going to be using up some leftovers from previous projects to create a Jane Davenport inspired horizontal weekly planner layout.  I really HATE throwing away perfectly good stuff but I also hate ending up with piles of loose odds and ends – a bit of a pickle!  So usually I use loads of leftover bits as collage fodder for my backgrounds in journal pages or to add texture.  My problem today is that the stuff left over from some of my previous projects (you can see one here) is too pretty for a background!

Watch the page come together step-by-step

Start your page by adding a pale wash of watercolour to one page, in colours that will match the collage papers you are using – in this case, pink, purple and yellow.

Glue on assorted collage papers using matt medium and allow this to dry.  Extend and embellish the image using a waterproof black pen and decorate with watercolors and mermaid markers (I’ll show you a few tips in the video for changing the look of the markers!).  Add some leftover journal tattoos (you might need to cut these into interesting new shapes!) and your page should begin to look pretty amazing.

Time to start on the facing page…  Now I had a little issue here, so I’ve covered this side of the layout in white gesso.  The rest was fairly simple.
Draw enough boxes for your week using a waterproof black pen and then add some stamped texture to one side of the boxes using Distress Oxides.  Use a water brush to spread the distress Oxide about and then stamp or write days of the week over the top.

Use Paint Over pens to alter the face and eyes as you like and add doodling around some of the journal tattoos.

Stamp or write a quote onto the body – though make sure to leave loads of room for your actual planning!

Add a few artistic splats of mermaid marker ink.  I do this so the image looks like part of the page rather than leave it sitting there all alone!

And the page is finished!  Though because I’ve used gesso I’ll add a spray of workable fixative before I write over this.

SUPPLIES

Or if you’d like to draw your own girl then grab some inspiration from Whimsical Girls or Fabulous Figures

I hope this has given you a few ideas for using up some of your leftover supplies oxoxo

Kate

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Decorating Canvas Notebooks

Today we are going to check out 5 simple techniques for decorating notebook covers.  So why do you need special techniques for notebook covers?  Well most of us are actually using the notebook, so the cover needs to be sturdy, and easy to slip into a bag or a bookshelf with other items.  If you have 3d flowers or embellishments that protrude too far these can become ripped off, snagged, damaged or at worst damage other items!  So it’s best to keep working notebook covers as flat as possible!

ADDING COLOR

Ah, so many choices when looking at how to add colour to a journal or notebook cover – the options are mind boggling!   But no matter what you decide to use, priming your cover with a nice even coat of gesso is a must – white gesso if you are planning to use pastels or want bright colours or black gesso if you are going to be a little more adventurous!

My favourite and most trusted options when working over gesso are acrylic paints, sprays, and inks as each work beautifully for adding colour – though they do have slightly different properties and looks.

  1. Acrylics enable you to control the opacity (how see through something is) by using as it or diluted with water.  Acrylic paint can be painted direct from the tube for maximum opacity, but it can also be spritzed with water to encourage the colour to spread.  It may spread a little or a lot depending on the thickness of the paint and the brand eg: Fluid acrylics spread easily when sprayed with water and Jane Davenport Acrylics require a little more encouragement.
  2. Inks by definition are thinner,  usually more transparent and can be added straight from the bottle and will spread and drip easily, or add water for a more watercolour like look.
  3. Sprays – well we all know these spread, run, drip and blend – spritz away – many are transparent (though check first as there are a few opaque sprays on the market) and often they don’t even need to be spritzed with water to spread and wick out!

ADDING DESIGN ELEMENTS

Flat design elements are a must on working notebook or journal covers!  Some of the amazing ways I have found to add flat design elements are to use punchinella, stencils and masks, writing with paint (either with paint pens or paint in a fine tipped bottle), stamping, foil and embossing powder.  All of these things can add interest to your flat design without adding bulk or creating issues later.  So let’s get to those 5 Fabulous Techniques for Decorating Notebook covers…..

1. Paint and Spritz

Ultra fun and ultra messy, this technique is addictive, unpredictable, colourful and perfect for backgrounds!  The only trick is not to cover your whole background – leave a little white space (I struggle with this as I want to add more and more pretty colours!).  Basically, add little dots of paint and spritz with water.  Just do one colour at a time to keep it crisp and clean or add multiple colours for colour blending.  Let the color spread, drip and run until you are happy with how it looks.

2. Stenciling

This really had to be here, whether you are adding delicate designs of creating bold marks there will be a perfect stencil out there for you!  Some of my favourite stencils are from Donna Downey, The Artist Cellar, The Crafter’s Workshop and Stencil Girl.  But there are also so many other amazing brands and companies out there!  To keep this specific cover looking bright and clean I used a different paint colour for each different stencil design.

3.  Stamping with Paint

This is fun and works really well on canvas notebook covers!  Make sure you are using a stamp with nice thick, bold lines or designs as anything too fine or detailed will end up looking like a blob.  Text, geometric shapes, leaves etc all work really well when stamping with paint.

4. Adding Free Form Painty Handwriting

This adds a touch of imperfection and a little unpredictability to your cover.  It can also be incredibly scary and go wrong really fast, so make sure you have practised on a piece of scrap paper first before you begin working on your actual cover.   Using either paint pens or thinned down paint in a fine tip applicator bottle, be brave and add doodles, patterns, designs or even handwriting.

5.  Bling it Up

This last step may just be the most important!  This finishing touch can make all the difference to the overall look and ‘togetherness’ of your cover, it really is amazing how important this last step can be.  In this case, it adds a little shimmer and shine to the cover and the shimmer of the metallic helps to enhance the other colours on the journal cover.

and how does the finished cover look????

Like a rainbow at my fingertips!

I’ve also filmed the whole process so you can play along and create your own version!

 

SUPPLIES

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas,  and have fun decorating some of your notebooks.