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This art journal page didn’t go as planned. And that’s a good thing! Why? Because I made a boatload of O.O.P.S.ies on here and each O.O.P.S. led me in a better direction than I planned!

What’s an O.O.P.S.? It’s an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.

Using ho hum gel prints is a great way to start an art journal page.

When you’re collaging something like old book text in your art journal, you can use any glue you have. Glue sticks are the least messy and dry the fastest- so if you’re impatient like me it’s a great option!

The Outstanding Opportunities Presenting Suddenly (O.O.P.S.) began with the paint. The very first color I used was “wrong”. Then the white I used was “wrong”. But that fluorescent yellow became just what I needed to mix with another color. The white became a great way to create a light blue.

There were all sorts of O.O.P.S.ies with the stenciling! The plan was for the words to show up, but the first set didn’t show up much at all. When I used the orange it really didn’t show up!

There was a big glob of unplanned paint on the I that just jumped out at me. And that was a gift too.

All that imperfect stenciling led me to using a pen to outline the letters and to see the symbolism in that blob of white paint.

When you’re using a pen on paint, it can ruin the pen. Especially if the paint is still wet or damp. That’s why I often use a fountain pen. It can take a whole lot of abuse- when it stops writing, I just wipe off the nib and it starts working again.

O.O.P.S.! If you have really wet paper and you write with a fountain pen, you can rip the paper. Seeing that bit of orange peek through encouraged me to do it some more to create more of that. Never would have even considered it if without the O.O.P.S.

Next time you’re arting if things don’t go as planned, try saying O.O.P..S and see where it takes you!

Here are the supplies 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!


What’s the play for today? A rainbow of Liquitex’s Acrylic Gouache, some cardboard, and taking a risk.

I took a risk, used something that set off my inner supply hoarder and that almost ended the fun. But there was a way to quiet down that noisy supply hoarder and I’m sharing it with you in today’s video!

If you’re new to Liquitex’s Acrylic Gouache, it is like watercolors and acrylic paint had a love child. You can use it straight out of the bottle or you can use it with water and it behaves more like a watercolor.

The best part is that when it is dry, it stays dry- meaning it won’t reactivate so it’s great for mixed media layers!

Using a cosmetic sponge, you can stencil with Liquitex Acrylic Gouache. Here I’m using my Circular Patterns for Play stencil to add some loose patterns.

The shape of the bottle is extra handy- you can use it almost like a pen. It made adding a bit of colorful outlining a snap.

So this is the part of the play where I decided I’m going to live on the edge. I was going to actually use the vintage ephemera I had been saving for the “right” project.

It’s a cancelled check from the 1870s. Thanks to a very fiesty supply hoarder inside of me, this almost ended the play.

A war began in my head as to whether or not I should use the check- even after I added some color to it. That war almost shut me down until I made an O.O.P.S., an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.

It’s hard for me to take myself too seriously when I’m saying O.O.P.S., especially when I’m really frustrated and say O.O.P.S. in an angry voice.

That’s just what I needed to start laughing at all the crazy thoughts in my head and get back into the play.

A lot of times when I’m playing in an art journal, on cardboard like this, or really making anything, I get a little reminders or messages from my muse.

Today it was a reminder to not take things so seriously. To help with that I used the Sigmund and Silas stencil. These two characters try to take things seriously, but they look absolutely ridiculous in the process.

Creating the title for this play used part of a stensul. There’s a lot of flexibility when you have quotes or stencils, you can just all or only use part of it. I just used the words I needed to represent today’s play, A Little Nonsense from my It’s Time to Play stencil.

I managed to keep that playful state of mind today by being able to laugh at myself at all the crazy stuff I was arguing about in my head. Want to know other ways that you can keep that playful state? Well then check out my free workshop called Permission to Play.

Here is a link to the supplies 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!


Thinking isn’t always a good thing. It led to problem after problem on this art journal page. I had thought myself into a quandary but there was a way out of it.

This art journal page has been through a lot. I loved the colorful background that I had. And then I had an idea. So I painted right on it with black paint and it went horribly wrong.

It’s a great big O.O.P.S., an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly so I smeared a whole bunch more black paint on it. And guess what? I didn’t like it any better after that. O.O.P.S. again.

At this point, I didn’t care what happened. Thinking wasn’t working, so I quit thinking. I willy nilly slapped paint and pattern on here with a gel plate and a stencil. This is from one of StencilClub’s monthly offerings.

Still no idea where this is going and it’s not at that point where I love it yet but I am having a ton of fun now that I’m not thinking.

I started thinking about that wonderful color in the middle. Thinking was the problem, so I covered it up with black paint. And that curbed the thinking so the play could go back to happening.

The inspiration for this radical move to bring in more black paint was thanks to seeing a book on my shelf.

Seeing that book immediately made me think of Scott Stabile’s underwear. That sentence just sounds wrong, so let me explain before you jump to any conclusions.

Scott talks a lot about self love in his book, Big Love, and the thing that makes this book really stand out to me are the examples that he shares. These examples are memorable, down to earth, and relatable. Like the story of his underwear.

Scott very generously has this story on his website for you to read. If you ever get a chance to see him speak or take a workshop with him, he has one of the most wonderful heart. So warm and loving and giving cannot say enough good stuff about this guy.

That big open black spot needed title, one that summed up what I was thinking as I made this. The word underwear would have summed it up, but that was way too long for me, so I chose love.

The stencils used are Jumbo Vintage Typewriter Alphabets A-P, Q-S, Alpha Jumble, and Ransom Alphabet.

This is a big, Harry Potter kind of big, vintage journal that I call MoJo. You can see more of the pages and oversized play here.

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!

Normally, you’d see little pictures of each supply, but for some reason- the computer elves are being brats and not showing it, so I’ll just work around them! Here’s a link to all the products use- with the pictures!