The A – Z of Artful Journaling: D is for Dripping

Hello, again! I was thinking about filing this spread under M for Mistakes or U for Unintentional, as the white squiggly things remind me of … er … something they’re not supposed to, but I decided to stick with D for Dripping and just laugh. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then count yourself sweet and innocent!


Anyhoo, now that’s out of the way, on with the tutorial. Dripping is a fun way of creating artful journaling backgrounds. You can drip with anything that’s runny enough to drip, and if it’s not runny enough (like acrylic paint) you can always thin it with water. You can drip in all sorts of ways too, such as: directly from a container, or from a brush, or from a pipette or even by ringing out a paper towel.

Now, to create this spread I used:

  • my 68gsm Tomoe River Paper journal
  • artist masking fluid
  • pipette
  • hairdryer
  • spray water bottle
  • Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers: Byron Bay, Blue Bottle and Deep Sea
  • paper towel
  • large paintbrush
  • Derwent Graphik Line Painters: Minted and Snow
  • Liquitex Acrylic Ink: Copper
  • black fine liner
  • Sakura Gelly Roll: Green
  • peacock feather washi tape
  • number stencil
  • pencil
  • small paintbrush

First, I used a disposable pipette to drop masking fluid onto my pages. Before it dried, I stood my journal upright and shook it up and down to get the masking fluid to run down the paper. I then dried it with my hairdryer. At this point, I thought the drips looked like they’d make cute balloons or maybe flowers.





Next, I gave the pages a liberal spray with water then added a few drops of each of the mermaid markers. These are very intense colours, and a little goes a long way.

To pick up some of the pooled ink and drip it around the spread, I used a pipette. I also used a brush to spread the ink around too. Because the page was wet to start with, the colours blended really well.

After using some paper towel to blot up excess liquid, I dried the paper with my hairdryer. I then dripped on some water and mopped it up with paper towel. This lifted some of the colour, adding texture and interest to the background.

To create smaller drips, I used Derwent Graphik Line Painters. They tend to splurge out their opaque ink which makes them unpredictable and messy, but that was the look I decided I was going for with this!

Once the line painters had dried, I dripped on the copper Liquitex Acrylic Ink. These inks can make great splat marks if dripped from a height of about 2 ft. Unfortunately,  they just gave me perfect circles, today! (I couldn’t have achieved that id I’d tried.) So I jiggled the page about and made them run as I’d done with the masking fluid.

To add the date, I used a stencil and pencil to draw out the numbers and a small brush to paint them in with more of the copper ink. I used the same ink and brush to letter ‘march’. To make the lettering pop, I added a drop shadow with a black fine liner. After everything had dried, I ran some peacock feather washi tape down the outer edges of both pages. Finally, for extra interest, I added some little ticks and dashes with the fine liner and gelly roll.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting this spread together. Dripping is very playful and joyful. It’s the kind of thing we used to do when we were kids, but stopped doing as we grew up. What about you? Have you dripped in your journal?

Thanks for reading! Catch you soon. xxx

Artful Journaling Blog Post Master List

Mental Health Monday: Holding the Hope – Part Three

Hello and welcome! In my last Mental Health Monday post, I finished by saying how I think the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over the last year have made me stronger, more resilient and less vulnerable to mental illness, and I said that in this post, I’d pick that apart a bit and talk in more concrete terms about how this knowledge and these skills manifest in my day-to-day life. So that’s what I’m going to do!

My daily life goes something like this:

  • wake up no later than 07:30
  • 07:30 eat breakfast, drink coffee, take medication
  • 08:00 pray and meditate in bed in my jim-jams.
  • 08:30 shower and dress
  • 09:00 do something: work, coffee with friends, shopping, chores, go for a walk etc
  • 12:00 eat lunch and watch a bit of TV
  • 12:30 do something: work, coffee with friends, shopping, chores, go for a walk etc
  • 14:30/15:00 greet kids and chat about their day for a bit
  • 15:30 do something: work, coffee with friends, shopping, chores etc
  • 17:30 cook dinner
  • 18:30 eat dinner with family
  • 19:00 do something: planning, journaling, watching TV, chores, go for a walk etc
  • 21:00 start winding down
  • 21:30 take medication and have night time chats with kids
  • 22:00 get into bed, meditate, pray, use lavender essential oil, do relaxation exercises, sleep

During the school holidays and on weekends, some of these things move about a bit, but I always take my meds, I always wake up no later than 07:30, I always pray and meditate, I always use lavender and do relaxation exercises and I always make sure I’m in bed by 23:00, preferably 22:00. These routines and habits are a big part of what keeps me well and have been developed over the course of the last year.

It goes without saying that it’s important to take my medication every day even though it makes me tired and hungry. I know it is bolstering all the hard work I have done. Getting a decent night’s sleep is crucial to my mental health too. One of my early warning signs for depression is a disturbed sleep pattern. If I don’t get enough sleep, my resilience to stress decreases and my sleep gets even worse, and thus begins a vicious cycle. To help avoid getting into that cycle, I don’t nap in the day unless I am totally exhausted, and I keep my evenings quiet and relaxed. Using lavender as my soothing scent and doing progressive muscle relation exercises at bedtime, sends signals to my brain and body that it is time for sleep, and I’m usually out by the time I’ve snuggled under the duvet! I generally sleep well at the moment, but I have crazy vivid dreams and often wake up in the night in a cold sweat, but I seem to be able to drift off again afterward. Knowing that a good night’s sleep is fundamental to my recovery means that if my sleep goes downhill, I’ll be banging on my doctor’s door for early intervention!

After sleeping well, comes starting the day right. I keep it slow. I know I’m lucky to be able to do so, and I’m very grateful for that. I eat breakfast with the kids and see them off to school before going back to bed for half an hour of prayer, meditation and reflection. To help me with this, I use two apps: Headspace and Pray as You Go. Headspace has been instrumental in training my brain to let go of thoughts, and Pray as You Go is a beautiful daily podcast based on a passage from the Bible and includes music and gentle reflection. Recently, I’ve added Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach to my meditation time. It was a gift from my lovely friend Helen, and is giving me a framework for thinking about gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, joy and abundance. This half-an-hour is the time when I am still with God. I don’t pray for things or about things, I just show up, open up and listen for that still, small voice of calm.

Other useful habits that have emerged over the last year include: taking vitamin supplements and Omega-3 oils everyday, making sure I drink at least five drinks a day (otherwise I get extra-tired and headachey), taking breaks from my work (I have an alarm set on my phone so that I remember to eat lunch.), being creative everyday and going for a short walk everyday (Truth be told, I don’t always manage this!). All these practical things contribute to my wellness and resilience and make me stronger.

As well as all this, every month I review the Nine Pillars of a Balanced Life to make sure my life is balanced and not skew-whiff. I look at my level of contribution, the way I spend my leisure, the exercise I take (or don’t take), the things I do and time I spend with family, friends and especially my husband. I look at how much time I spend working, how much ‘me time’ I have and what I do with it. I look at what I’m doing to grow as a person, what new things I’m learning. And if something is under or over-represented, I try to redress the balance to reduce potential stress and resentment.

A big and positive change for me this year has been starting my own business making and selling cards and being chosen to serve of two design teams. Before falling ill, I was a bit rudderless and I’m sure this contributed to my mental fragility. The kids are older now and were starting not to need me to be so hands on, so I didn’t feel I had much of a purpose, but now I have my business (which is still very small, but who knows where it will go?) and regularly sharing the story of my recovery journey, I now feel a sense of purpose and passion again, and this is what gets me out of bed in the morning, especially on the days when I wake up feeling as if I’m made of lead.

Well, this has turned into another long post, so I will leave it there for today. Next week, I’ll talk in more detail about the benefits I’ve experienced from practicing mindfulness and meditation. And I want to talk about the areas of my life that still need plenty of work!

Thanks for reading! Bye for now. xxx

You can read more of my Mental Health Monday posts here.

(Image Source: Pixabay)

The Little Paper Tree: Watercolour Journal Cards

Hello, lovely friends! Here I am again with another tutorial for The Little Paper Tree. Last month, I took part in incowrimo (International Correspondance Writing Month), where participants write and send one letter every day for the whole of February. I had a great time writing to people I’d never met and slipping little extras into the envelopes, such as fun sticky notes and washi tape samples. I also made some mixed media journal cards, bookmarks and gift tags to send, so I thought for today’s tutorial, I’d show you how I created them.

Read more …

Planning Out Loud: April 2018 + GIVEAWAY!

Hi! Welcome to my April 2018 Bullet Journal Plan With Me video in which I show you how March turned out and talk you through my monthly spreads and trackers for March. I also launch my GIVEAWAY to celebrate reaching 500 Subscribers. Thanks for watching!

The A – Z to Artful Journaling: B is for Black Gesso

Whoever invented black gesso was a genius! It’s fantastic stuff. It goes on so smoothly and covers so well, instantly turning any coloured card or paper into black card or paper. I love to use it in my journal because it means I get to write with a white pen, and the contrast between the ink and the paper is so striking. Metallics show up really well too.

If you’d like to create a spread like this in your journal, this is what you’ll need:

  • your journal
  • black gesso
  • large acrylic or multi-purpose brush
  • metallic paints such as Prima Metallic Accents
  • small watercolour brush
  • water for cleaning your brushes
  • heat tool or hairdryer
  • white gel pen
  • white stamping ink pad
  • embossing ink pad
  • silver embossing powder
  • black ink pad
  • white scrap of paper
  • black pen
  • stick glue
  • office date stamp
  • acrylic stamping block
  • Mama Makes Woodland Friends stamp set (for the sleepy fox and chick)
  • Mama Makes Sending Hugs stamp set (for the sentiment)
  • Mama Makes Weekly Wonderfulness stamp set (for the ‘Sunday’)

To start with, I coated two journal pages with black gesso. It only needed one coat. I deliberately left a scruffy white border around the outside. This particular gesso dries very quickly, but to make sure it was totally dry I gave it a blast with my heat tool. I didn’t want to gum up my gel pen with wet gesso! (Click on the images for a closer look.)

Next, I used my white gel pen to draw a dashed line all around the edge of the black area. I love the way this looks – such a contrast! Once the gel pen was dry, I used clear embossing ink to stamp my sentiment in the top right hand corner. I then heat embossed it with superfine silver embossing powder. After that, I used white ink to stamp the sleepy fox in the bottom left hand corner.





For the stars, I used my white gel pen again. First, I free-handed the larger stars, which gave them a child-like quality, then I added white dots to give the impression of distant galaxies. I really like the way the fox seems to be snuggled by the night’s sky. For balance, I also added stars and dots around the sentiment. To colour the fox and chick, I used Prima Metallic Accents which gave the image a little shade and shimmer. Finally, I stamped the date, in black ink, on a piece of scrap white paper and drew a messy frame around it. I stuck the paper down with simple stick glue.





And there you have it! I’m so looking forward to writing on this page on Sunday. What pen should I use? I could use the white gel pen again, but I’ve got lots of lovely metallic gel pens too. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks for reading! Catch you soon. xxx

Artful Journaling Blog Post Master List