Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 art journal must haves

I spend a lot of time in my art journals- it is where I work out my ideas, where I experiment, journal and document memories. While I will use anything and everything to create, I thought it would be fun to share 5 of my "must have items" for art journals! They are simple but really important in my process.

1. BIND-IT-ALL BINDER
I prefer to make my own art  journals and since I have an excess of painted paper, I put it to use by binding it into one of a kind journals. I use a binding machine called the Bind-It-All. It makes the entire process super simple and easy. 

I love that I am able to punch holes into my favorite watercolor paper, hand painted paper and photos and turn them into art journals.

2. PRINT LARGE PHOTOS
While I don't consider myself a scrapbooker, I do love using photos in my art journals. One of my favorite ways to use them it to actually print large pictures and then bind them with all the other paper.

I use these large photos alongside my doodles and drawings and I even use them as a surface to draw on.

3. CREATE HOMEMADE TABS
My art journals are typically around 30-40 pages and I really like adding tabs to my favorite pages. I will use just about anything to create a tab but one of my favorites is to use is cut up small mandala drawings for a round tab.

These tabs help me stay organized when I create but they also add a really cool embellishment to my journals!

4. PRINTED PAPER
You will never catch me buying decorative paper because I LOVE to make my own! While I really enjoy painting and drawing on the pages of my art journal, I also like printing out colorful paper that I've made from my original work. I always scan my art, even the the simple things. When I need a colorful background or paper with pattern, I print it out and use it! 

5. DRAW WITH A BRUSH
I spend a lot of time drawing and doodling in my art journals and my must have supply is a brush and black ink. I love the bold lines that you can create with black ink- from drawing to doodling to free writing, using a brush (instead of a pen or pencil) is a great way to break free with your work.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

lettering with makewells: hand lettered directional signs



Hi everyone! It's Megan from Makewells! I'm here on Alisa's blog today with another fun lettering project! This time, I used my hand lettering techniques to paint a super cheap and easy to make directional sign for our backyard. 

As renters, there are only so many ways we can spruce up our property. One aspect of our backyard that has been bugging me is the fence. It needs some serious help, but being a renter, there's not much I can do. So, I decided to add some life to it by hanging some bright and colorful signage. This is something that can distract the eye from the areas I don't like, while also being easy to take down and bring with us to our next home. It's a win-win project! 
Here's how you can make your own:

Simple enough, right? There is no need to buy wood, just look around your neighborhood for old fence boards. We had a neighbor replacing a new fence and asked if we could take the wood off his hands. There is always something to find on large trash removal days, all you have to do is keep your eyes open! Plus, the aged wood gives the signs great character that it would take years for a new piece to acquire. 
Old palettes are easy to find as well, just keep your eyes open and start collecting!


The next step is to prime the wood for lettering. 
First, sand down any rough spots and removed any remaining nails. 
Next, you can use basic acrylic based outdoor latex paint (or any acrylic will do) and slap on some color. (For the boards I didn't paint, I used an acrylic gel medium to seal in cracks. This makes the wood a little easier to paint on. It dries perfectly clear, but allows for a smoother surface.)

Let them dry.



While the boards are drying, do some sketches of the lettering you plan to draw. I mixed up script lettering with non-script, and tried to create a variety of styles.  
Once you are happy with your sketches, reference them and sketch lightly on the wood.

**Depending on the color paint you use, it may be tricky to see your sketches. I recommend trying a variety of pencils to see what will work for you. It can also be tricky to sketch on the gel medium primed pieces - if this concerns you, skip that and just paint directly on the wood.**


Next, start painting the letters. I like to get all the simple color blocking done first, and then go back for the details (shading, drop shadows, etc.)


This is where it get's really fun. A bold drop shadow can add so much dimension to your signs, and choosing contrasting colors/shades to makes your lettering really stand out. Add a little shading to give it even more pop. 



Once your pieces are completely dried, give it a protective seal. Anytime wood is left outside, it's going to get weathered, but using a clear sealer will slow the process! (The most durable I've found is Helsmans Spar Urethane.)



Lastly, install your new decor! 
I pre-drilled holes in each sign before screwing into the fence. Now, if we move, or our landlord decides to replace the fence, it's easy to take down and install again. 





A little note about our sign: yes, we call our house "The Wellsdorf Astoria". We get a lot of house guests, and like to think it's our little Florida resort :)


Have fun creating everyone!

You can check out all of my lettering posts HERE and don't forget to share your progress using #redefinecreativelettering. 

Xo, Megan
@Makewells (instagram)

Monday, July 27, 2015

it's a summer sale!


You all know I love a good sale so this week I've got my online classes marked down! Head on over for the shop HERE for a summer sale until Sunday, August 2nd.



Friday, July 24, 2015

make your mark preview

My summer lineup of classes is in full swing and I've got my next course Make Your Mark going live this Monday, July 27th!  This is a fun little class all about using a variety of tools and materials to create unique marks. You can read more about Make Your Mark and the rest of my summer classes over in the shop HERE.

Check out a short preview below


make your mark from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

new coloring pages in the shop!

Living at the beach, I spend a lot of time hunting for inspiration along the shore and in tide pools. I've got a new set of coloring pages over in the shop inspired by all the things I find by the sea! You can check out the details HERE

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

exploring we will go


A while back we made the promise to each other to always make time to seek adventure as a family (you can read about it here). Exploring new places and going outside is a big part of our daily lives and once in a while I like to share a little peek into our adventures.

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