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Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn DubeIt’s always fun to have visitors in the studio, especially if they are as silly and happy as this guy!  He’s Norbert and just popped out of the Spark of Art-spiration I used to start playing in my art journal.   Originally, I saw 3 people on a hill in the Spark, but you can tell I didn’t stick with that plan.

Watch Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark on YouTube.

What is one way I start playing in an art journal?  A Spark of Art-spiration because it help me deal with the dreaded blank page. My newsletter readers know that I love these Sparks, since I share a new one in every newsletter. Get signed up with the button below and you’ll get this exact Spark in your inbox.

Yes, I want the free download!

This Spark was printed on my ink jet printer using cheap copy paper.  Nothing fancy at all!

Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

A perk of using Sparks is that you can print as many as you need for your personal projects.  Instead of leaving all that white space on the page, it was easy to print out more and collage around.  It’s very freeing to use a supply that never ends!

Thanks to not wanting dear Norbert here to have 2 noses (and imagine the hayfever if he had 2 noses), I ended up with a very comical smile!  Would like to say I planned it but you know better.

Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

A layer of white outlined Norbert and allowed the background to peek through.  I thought that was what I wanted…but nope.

Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

All that almost white space was more than my rainbow brain could take.  The texture of the bits of the torn paper peeked out from under the bright purple.

Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn Dube

His eyes were an O.O.P.S.-an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.  The intention wasn’t for them to be quite as uneven as they are, but these eyes fit him better than what was expected.

Thanks neon nerdy Norbert for coming to play in my art journal today!

***Newsletter readers, this Spark was sent to you in the last newsletter or you can have it sent to your email here.***

Starting an Art Journal Page with a Spark video tutorial by Carolyn DubeHere are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


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Gel printing rainbows with a round plate and a cake spinner video by Carolyn Dube

Since I don’t get to see rainbows in the sky that often, I am always happy to make them in the studio. Warning: this is a colorfully hypnotic way to spend an afternoon watching the rainbow spin round and round on the Gel Press plate!  And yes, I most definitely loved Spin Art as a kid…and still do!

Watch Spinning Rainbows on the Gel Plate on YouTube.

New to gel printing?  I’ve got a getting started tutorial and downloadable guide here.

Start with a palette with piles of paint and a brush for each color.  Why piles?  Because I like to make a lot of prints with juicy color.  Do you have to use this much paint? Absolutely not, paint just makes me so happy I can’t help myself.

Gel printing rainbows with a round plate and a cake spinner video by Carolyn Dube

Put a round gel plate on a cake spinner.  As you spin the cake spinner round and round, add the colors one at a time.  It is wonderfully hypnotic to see the rainbow spin round and round!

Obviously, once a cake spinner has been used with paint, it isn’t food safe any more.  Since I don’t bake cakes often, this was a no brainer for me to steal this from the kitchen for some play.
Gel printing rainbows with a round plate and a cake spinner video by Carolyn Dube

To make a rainbow print, simply put your paper on only half of the circle.  Then take another piece of paper to capture the other rainbow on the plate the same way.Gel printing rainbows with a round plate and a cake spinner video by Carolyn Dube

All this play reminded me of one of my favorite rainbow quotes of all time, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud,” by Maya Angelou.  Now I’m heading back to the studio to make more rainbows for my art journals and maybe I’ll even do this with a smaller gel plate for a card!

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud Maya Angelou quote

Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


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Stampaway Workshops

I’ll be teaching 4 classes this August in Cincinnati, Ohio and then shopping at the preview party Friday night at Stampaway!  This is the 25th year for Stampaway.  The classes are held in the modern Sharonville Convention center and the hotel is brand new!  Class descriptions can be found here & the registration form is here.

Here are the 4 classes I’m teaching and of course each is full of play and plenty of OOPSies!

Sneaky Art Journaling Friday, Aug. 11th

Class details: I used to struggle with letting go and creating loosely, but now I’ve found ways around that. That’s why I call this workshop Sneaky Art Journaling! It’s all about how to trick the controlling left brain into quieting down so play can happen! Once that left brain is settled down, I’ll be sharing how I keep it that way with techniques using heavy bottled paints, glazing liquid, stencils, and different ways to apply the color – we’re not
going to be only using brushes.

I’m bringing all the paints, Stencil Girl stencils, and more for you to create your art journal pages. Paper will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own journal to work with.

Bring: three to five small paint brushes (I like the ¼” flat brush), water container to clean your brushes, permanent black ink pad, and a variety of rubber stamps (15 or so: big, little, fine, and bolder and of course if you’re willing to share, I’ll have stamps too).

Jumping in to Gel Printing  Friday, August 11th

Class details: Come play with color and pattern on a gel plate. We’ll start with a big stash of Stencil Girl stencils as I share how to get that fabulous Gel Press printing plate to give you magical ghost prints, how to combine multiple patterns in one printing, and most of all, how to avoid mud when working with the entire rainbow. New to gel printing? No experience is needed to create amazing prints when you know the secret! Not only will you get my shortcuts that were learned through hours of printing play, along with a fundamental understanding of gel printing, but you will walk out the door with a huge stack of amazing prints.

Bring: six to seven acrylic paint colors (including white) and an apron.

Stamping with PanPastels is back as it sold out quickly last year at Stampaway Wednesday, August 9th

Class details: Using rubber stamps, you will layer, blend, mix colors, and seal PanPastels while creating collages full of color. When you walk out the door, you will be able to confidently make cards, backgrounds, and more with PanPastels because Carolyn is sharing the whys and hows
of PanPastels so you will have a clear and strong understanding of the medium. Including an easy way to seal them completely indoors!  So no stinky sprays! She is bringing the PanPastels, the supplies for sealing, and rubber stamps for those willing to share.

Bring: a variety of 10-12 rubber stamps (bold, fine, little, big, text), 15 cosmetic wedge sponges from the drugstore, glue stick, scissors, and permanent ink pad.

Using Rubber Stamps on a Gel Plate Friday, August 11th

Class details: Come play and use rubber stamps in new and colorful ways with a Gel Press monoprinting plate. If you have never used a gel printing plate, this is a great opportunity to try it out and see what all the excitement is about. You will make backgrounds that perfectly match your stamped images, and you will see how to get multiple looks from the same stamp. As we make these cards and patterned papers, you will use the entire rainbow of paint at one time without making mud, and you will also learn an easy shortcut for cleaning paint off of any rubber stamp.

Bring: scissors, a variety of eight to ten stamps, six to seven colors of paint including at least one color that is darker (e.g., dark blue, deep red), and an apron. Instructor will have stamps for sharing.

Looking forward to all the play at Stampaway! If you’d like to join me you can find the the registration form here.

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