Art by Marlene, Art Journal, The Crafters Workshop, Tutorials

Make the Impossible Possible

Are you a glass half full or half empty type of person? I’d like to think that I usually see them as half full – full of possibilities and endless opportunities. I’d like to share a new art journal page with you – this time it has been created in my mini Art by Marlene journal. I’ve also used Art by Marlene stamps and one of Marlene’s stencils from The Crafters Workshop. I love how all of Marlene’s products play so nicely together.

The format of this journal makes so many techniques possible – such as the one I’ve used for this page! The pages are easily removable and are made from a wonderful watercolour paper.

Follow along as I share how my page was created… the background technique gives a wonderful, subtle effect.

After choosing a stencil for the background pattern, I gave the page a layer of colour using watercolours. Keep the page quite wet with colour and quickly layer the totally clean stencil over before it dries. Allow the stencil and page to sit flat until fully dry.

Once removed, the stencil leaves a lovely, subtle pattern on the background.

You can get different effects by overlaying with plastic wrap or bubble wrap and changing up the colour palette to a darker, more saturated colour looks amazing.

I needed a little something to cover the areas at the top & bottom of the page where the stencil pattern didn’t quite reach – spotty circles fixed it nicely!

Marlene’s stamps often feature swirly patterns and doodles, they are so cute and I love using this bird stamp. Perfect for watercoloring so that is what I did;) Stamping the image onto watercolour yardstick with permanent black ink means the image was easily coloured without smudging.

In keeping with the colours on my page, I inked the edges a little with some permanent ink. Of course, a birdie needs a wire to sit on so a swish of black paint gave her somewhere to perch.

I felt the birdie needed a bit of sparkle – glitter gel pens to the rescue! What did we do before this glittery product?

I also added a bit of white detailing using a fine Posca pen to parts of the bird, including the whites of her eyes.

I love using quotes on my pages so selected one from Marlene’s sticker books and matted each of the words with a bit of cardstock I’d coloured with watercolour. Once trimmed, each word was also inked around the edges. Some foam squares gave them a little dimension and the page was done.


  • Art by Marlene A5 journal
  • Art by Marlene bird stamp
  • Art by Marlene sticker book
  • The Crafters Workshop Botanical Dream stencil
  • Black paint, watercolours, glitter gel pens, white Posca pen, permanent black ink

Thanks for visiting! I hope you have enjoyed learning how my page came together.

I thought it about time I made some more videos for YouTube. You will find one for this project on my channel shortly.

Acrylic paint, Art Journal, Stencils, The Crafters Workshop, Tutorials, Uncategorized

Make Today Count

Eeep….seems my poor blog has been left neglected. Sorry readers, my year started with a bang and has continued to be busy. Time to refresh and restart this blogging habit I think!

The first half of this year has been filled with creativity in a variety of forms. In February, I started a degree in photography and took initial subjects in photography and drawing which set me up for a busy start to uni life but also gave me a pair of subjects that I was already comfortable with. Turned out to be a brilliant choice and I have loved every minute of my first semester.

It has been a little while since I sat down to play with no plan in place so I thought I’d share the results with you. Needing to concentrate on the final weeks of assessments meant only the ‘necessities’ of creative play were attended to, but teaching classes and creating design team project are luckily among the necessities! It was time to pull out my collection of The Crafters Workshop Stencils and have some playtime.

I’ve created this art journal page in my favourite Dylusions Dyalog journal which has lovely grids printed on the pages. Not sure what it is about grid paper but it has always been a go-to choice for notepaper. I started with a page that had been painted in calming blues and greens and stencilled over the top with Distress Oxide inks using the large circle stencil. 

Next I gathered a bunch of painted & Gel Press printed scraps and stencilled all over them in a random fashion using acrylic paint. I layered stencilling and painting of small areas without a lot of thought to create busy looking pieces. For a bit of cohesion, I kept my paints to warm colours plus a blue. Then I drew circles of various sizes over all the pieces. While drawing the circles, I tried to get a mix of pattern and empty space on each.

Once the circles were fussy cut I layered them onto my journal page until I had a pleasing arrangement. I decided not to use the strongly blue coloured pieces. Some circles were layered over each other and I made sure I had a couple overlapping the page edges.

Next I stencilled over several of the circles using circular stencils and black paint. This helps give a strong pop of pattern and contrast to the page.

Some circles got just a small portion stencilled in black.

I used black and white paint pens to give the circles some extra line work and edged each of them with a sponging of black paint prior to adhering them in place with Helmar Tacky Craft Glue.

I’m lucky with the variety of stencils I own, I can usually find the perfect one for a corner – like the one I’ve stencilled using texture paste.

A Tim Holtz quote finishes the page.


  • Stencils – The Crafters Workshop – 6×6: Spikey Wheels, Quattro Motifs, Screen Print, Harlequin, Kaleidoscope, Well Rounded, Circle Squares, Blazonry, Stencil Patterns | 12×12: Script Dots
  • Helmar Tacky Craft Glue
  • Journal – Dylusions Dyalog Squared
  • Ranger Ink Distress Oxide – Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon
  • Acrylic paint, texture paste, black & white paint pens
  • Tim Holtz quote

Thanks for following along!