Mama Carrie Makes

Friday Craft, Art Journal 11

I really love house-themed stamps. This adorable set is from Paper Smooches, called Bitty Bungalows.

I started with a blank page in my art journal, and used some patterned paper to create the sky and hills for my neighborhood. Then I covered them with gel medium to seal it down.

Next I used my Gelatos to give my little world some color and depth. These are from a set of 12 I bought on Amazon, in the kids department where they are significantly less expensive than the packs available in the arts and crafts section. They can also probably be found in your local art store in the kids section.


I stamped my images with Distress ink on some pretty basic card stock, then colored them in with my watercolor pencils. I used a tiny bit of water and a brush to just smooth out the color, so they still look like they’re colored with pencils, but the color is a bit more even and I can add some shading. I’m going to try these to blend colors, at some point…


Cutting out each image was terribly time consuming. Paper smooches offers a coordinating set of dies for this set, but I haven’t earned them yet. I’m trying very hard to make sure I’ve used something several times before buying all the accessories and bells/whistles. I did give these the little white border to make them look a bit more cartoon-y. And so I didn’t have to cut around all the little nooks and crannies.


I played with placement a bit, and then glued them down with more gel medium.


This one is still a work in progress. Roads, more shading, more trees/shrubbery, perhaps some clouds or a sun? And of course a quote or sentiment.


Ep 1   |   Ep 2   |   Ep 3   |   Ep 4   |   Ep 5   |   Ep 6   |   Ep 7   |   Ep 8   |   Ep 9   |   Episode 10


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Friday Craft, Art Journal 06

These pages are ‘done’ but I’m feeling like they need something more. A quote perhaps?

ArtJournal_Chevrons ArtJournal_PinkOrangeYellowThe first page was inspired by the prompt “White Space”. I am definitely a filler of the page, as evidenced by the second sample here. It was a good exercise for me to stop adding elements and color.

The second page was inspired by a new purchase of some gelatos, which are very similar to oil pastels. It just feels, incomplete somehow. I would even say that the first page feels more finished than the second.

What do you think?


Episode 1   |   Episode 2   |   Episode 3   |   Episode 4   |   Episode 5

Friday Craft, Handmade Book Episode 8

The book making continues in my craft cave, and the books were more popular at my craft fair than my jewelry. Right now I’m working on creating a junk journal from scratch, using some old paper pads from my stash. I’m hoping to move into the video tutorial arena with my very own YouTube channel, but I’ll need a good-ish camera to make that happen. Stay tuned…

I made this book awhile ago, using a beautiful digital kit from Tsunami Rose called Charming Fragments.


I used a file folder for the cover, some 6×9 mailing envelopes, some tiny doilies for tuck spots, and all the wonderful ephemera included in the kit. The ribbon is held to the cover through an eyelet.

Whenever I finish a book I inevitably have ephemera left over, which I have been collecting in an envelope. I try to use every scrap knowing that crafting can be a very wasteful hobby, and this book does include some cards and tags from other kits. Eventually I’ll have enough to make a mash-up junk journal.


Ep 1   |   Ep 2   |   Ep 3   |   Ep 4   |   Ep 5   |   Ep 6   |   Episode 7


Friday Craft, Art Journal 05

Another page from my first art journal. Stamps and embossing and watercolors, oh my!


I purchased these Tim Holtz flower stamps on sale (along with the Crazy Birds set) and was compelled to watercolor them after using some embossing powder to create a resist.

It was as much fun as you suspect. I embossed the flowers first, then I could place the stems and brush away the powder where they overlapped. Then it was all watercolor bliss. I put down the yellows first, then came back in with the blues and reds.

For the orange flower, I tried using my darkest red color first, then I sort of scrubbed in the lighter orange and yellow towards the bottom. I love how it turned out.

To finish it up, I mixed ultramarine and umber to get a kind of payne’s gray, and I watered that down and put it in the bottom left area to give the impression of shadow.

I’m so impressed with myself. I know I’ll use this technique again.


Episode 1   |   Episode 2   |   Episode 3   |   Episode 4

Friday Craft, Art Journal 04

My first art journal is almost filled. It’s rare that I actually fill every page in a journal/book, but this sketchbook only has a dozen or so empty pages for me to fill.


This page is a watercolor play page. Wet into wet, first I put down water in geometric shapes. I let the paper absorb the water and then put down another layer. Then I dropped in the colors and let them mix together. It’s important not to push them around too much with the brush, but to let osmosis draw the paints into each other and create the mixtures.

Terribly fun. Do you art?


Episode 1   |   Episode 2   |   Episode 3

Friday Craft, Art Journal 03

Over the summer our family went camping and of course I took my art journal along with a small pouch of supplies. Art journaling is a very portable activity, perfect for long days of camping relaxation.

ArtJournal_Owl ArtJournal_JustBe ArtJournal_Lotus





I finished several pages at our campsite. I did not bring a big pouch of supplies but was able to fit a good collection. Stamps, stencils, a set of watercolors, gelatos (very similar to oil pastels) my distress ink mini pads, pitt pens, spray inks, and some water soluable pencils.


Episode 1   |   Episode 2

Friday Craft, Art Journal 02

I definitely art journal in bursts. If I have paint or ink left over on a stamp, I will turn to a fresh page and use it. Anything to get rid of that white space.  If I’m not happy about the current page, I will turn to a new page and start again. Then when I return to the other page, I’ve usually got a fresh perspective and can take it in a new direction.

ArtJournal_GreenBluePurple The hardest part of art journaling is the voice inside your head that asks ‘what exactly is this for? how is this going to turn out?’ For me, the essence of art journaling is the process, the fun of spreading ink and paint on paper. The finished product is almost irrelevant.


I tend to use colors and shapes that are pleasing to my eye, so the final product is always a mixture of things I like already.

I like bright colors. I like geometric shapes and florals. I like it when colors blend together. I like simple compositions.

What do you like?


Episode 1


Friday Craft, Art Journal 01

Over the summer I started an art journal. I have resisted purchasing all the delicious supplies that I want, and only bought some distress ink minis, a couple of very basic stamps and the book. I began in this smallish book to see if I would really do it. As of now I have almost filled up the book.ArtJournal_Hexagons

-> This page is one of the first. The hexagon stamp is part of a small set of shapes. Using the distress ink mini pads, I just stamped all over the page. Using a water brush, I spread the ink around a bit to fill in some of the hex shapes. Some black zig zags for contrast (another stamp from the set), a black border and the date and done.




<- Another early page. This was done with oil pastels and pitt pen. I started the page with Tim Holtz tissue paper, then a layer of thin gesso. I sketched out the plant, and used the pastels for color.





-> These birds were inspired by a Pinterest post. The birds are blobs of watercolor, outlined with pitt pen. I did the background last, and I don’t like the look of it. But I love the whimsical birds. I would definitely do this one again. Possibly a good project to do with the kiddos.

Stay tuned for more art journal fun.


ETA: the series continues here…Ep 2   |   Ep 3   |   Ep 4   |   Ep 5