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Ask the Muse Altered Book Journaling

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

It was just going to take a moment because all I was doing was using up the last bits of color on the brushes. Don’t want to waste the any part of the rainbow after all. No reason to turn on the video camera. This is just cleaning off a few brushes.

And then I got sucked into playing. Yes, forced by the muse to paint and play.

It started when I grabbed a place to wipe off the paint left on my brushes. I grabbed an altered book journal where I had started this page eons ago with my large Union stencil.

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencilsAn altered book is just an old book that I use just like any art journal except that the pages come pre printed with words!

These brushes only had pinks and purples on them. I couldn’t leave it like that. I had to add some more colors, like yellow. So added more paint to my palette.

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

Before I knew it, the whole rainbow was involved. Instead of using up the paint, I seemed to be getting more and more out.

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

Out came the small Union stencil for very messy play. I stenciled wet paint on wet paint. And it was so much imperfect fun!How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

For the title, I used the Verbage stencil. It had almost all the words I needed. But not “the” so I cannibalized the word they by just stenciling t-h-e and voilà, I had the word I needed!How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

Whenever I ask the muse, I should to listen to what she says. She said write neatly. I tried. I wrote really neatly for me. It was awkward and uncomfortable to write legibly.

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

It didn’t feel right so I did it the way that made me happiest, scribbly scratchy and messy! So technically, I listened and took her advice and then added to it! But I did listen to her when she said play!

It doesn’t take much for the muse to get me to play. But it wasn’t always that way. If you’d like to know 3 ways that I used to thwart that unplayful voice in my head (the inner critic), get signed up for my newsletter here. There’s a downloadable video and pdf waiting for you!

How to create an altered book art journal page with stencils

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 you are helping me keep this blog and my videos ad free! Thank you- I don’t like ads any more than you do!


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  • EmK April 21, 2016, 8:29 pm

    This is awesome! I should probably try to poke at my muse more often…rather than just hoping she finds her way to me.

  • Corrine April 22, 2016, 9:02 am

    Those muses are pretty demanding if you ask me, but they sure do love their color. xox

  • Carolyn April 22, 2016, 11:55 am

    Joie de vivre!! Your spontaneity is infectious!

  • jean marmo April 22, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I need to remember to do this! Looks wonderful!!

  • Jeanette Jones May 16, 2016, 7:02 am

    I am brand new to the world of art journaling. I am trying to learn techniques and as much as I can about the different supplies and how to use them. Your website is a Mecca of information. I am addicted to reading everything you have written and watching your videos. They have been both informative and inspirational.
    I have a question about the ink you used on this particular journal page as I can not make out the name in the picture.
    Thank you