Play Journal

Throughout the month of March – National Craft Month – I think it would be fun to PLAY! To create something each day in a way I normally don’t…combining mediums, using watercolor grounds in unique ways, getting out products from my studio that haven’t seen the light of day in ages. And. just. play.

I invite you to do the same along with me – not creating what I do each day, but making a journal (or buy one) and just play in it. Try things out. Expand your horizons! Perhaps try a tidbit of a technique you saw in a video or attempt to recreate something that inspired you when out on a walk. You could scrapbook in it, sketch in it, paint in it – anything at all.

To create a journal, get a large piece of paper – this month I’m using a sheet of drawing paper, but you can use any kind – watercolor or anything else. If you choose one day to use a medium that may not work on that paper, just glue one on – or make a tag to add in! Just create a little something each day. Here’s the launch video:

And here’s the cutting pattern:

Each day of March, check in on my social media (insta twitter or Fb) or right here on this page. Each evening as I add to my journal, I’ll add the pics here with a quick summary of something I learned from my play time. (Warning: sometimes it might be “Don’t ever try that again!”)


I have a growing collection of purged items – and they need good homes! I have *at least* 6 medium flat rate boxes full and am not done yet. Join in the challenge to qualify to win one! Post it on Instagram or Facebook, and tag me/use #playjournal so I can find them and do a random draw at the end of the month. You don’t have to participate daily to win, but the more times you join in, the more chances to win!

Best. Helper. Ever.
Yes, you see Copics. Inks, Brusho. Adhesives. Each box is a little different, of course, and I didn’t check to see if markers or inkpads had ink, but…yeah. It’s a ton of stuff.
Each box is topped off with stamps and dies. Some older, some younger, some used more than others. But YEAH!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

My cover was watercolored on black watercolor grounds – all about that is HERE.
A closer look.
Process: Copic for hair, watercolor pencil for skin. Transparent watercolor ground on the whole page (it bled the Copic marker on this drawing paper, bummer), then watercolor and micron pen journaling of a Bible verse.
Stamp by Picket Fence, Madelyn
Sentiment stamp by Picket Fence, Exhale Worry
Watercolored background to make it continuous from previous panel. Hexagonal stencil is an old one, no brand on it; used watercolor grounds with it (white and mars black). Beautiful Mandala stamp by Paper Roses colored with Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils.
Excellent advice for life!
Second half of the Mandala from the previous panel…watercolor pencil rain in the background with white pen drops; Dany Girl die with gold uniball pen hair, watercolor ground flowers with Duo Cabo blue paint.
I scribbled in the hair and eye myself…added a necklace.
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All Copic coloring! Floral Corner by Catherine Scanlon.
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Lots and lots of Copic color layers; the marker doesn’t move much on this paper.
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Excellent quote– “Every artist was once an amateur.” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Video and supply list available HERE!
Video and supply list available HERE!
Almost entirely just layers of Albrecht Durer Watercolor pencil with a little uniball pen. Stamp is Kiss Kiss by Picket Fence.
Textures were spread with baby wipes, many layers of a lot of colors.
Played with pressure on the background – the paint “swatch” area at the top was heavy pressure, more than the rest of the picture.
A little Copic reinker playtime led me to thinking about doodling, and that turned into a cloud of mushrooms….
…which I called a mushrooom cloud?
This was a total experiment with a few fails! First – underneath of this is a wrecked panel. Glued one on top trying to recreate what was beneath but better: applying embellishment mousse through a stencil, then after wrecking it (see later photo) by being inept with a palette knife, spreading it with a blending tool. Which oddly left a lovely ghosting behind (see beneath the text, closeup below.) I overdid it on the first panel, the final one only worked in one area coz it dried too fast.
This is the expanding mousse, with heat applied. I guess it expands? But it looked to me more like it shrank and crinkled. Stencil is ancient, not sure who made it.
Above is the ghosting left when spreading the mousse with the soft tool after wrecking the application through the stencil.
And here’s my mess before spreading. I need remedial palette knife classes!
On day 10: I used distress inks applied with the so-called Life-Changing brushes – not as immediately easy as I had been told. LOL. I ended up spraying my background to soften it and then covered it with vellum too.
Stamp is Sierra by Picket Fence, stamped on vellum and colored with pencils on the back.
I also stamped a tag so you can see a little more of my inking – I did some background inking on the top part, and all the flower stenciling here used Leaf Frolic by Penny Black. Stitching done by hand with a sharpie.
Background uses distress oxide inks, then stenciling Leaf Frolic on top.
The hexagons are stickers covered in canvas that I found eons ago; I applied distress oxides to them too and wrote my favorite art admonition onto them!
This little page features April from Picket Fence…lots of tattoos! The copic on the drawing paper worked fairly badly so I stamped her on Neenah and recolored, then fussy cut.
The background started with Copic, then used a large brush with distress oxides and a stencil that’s no longer around. Added dots with colorless blender.
A better view of the fussy cutting – head and neck with the curl of hair at the bottom.
A very old wood mounted leaf stamp…a sentiment from Katzelkraft.
Just a little delicious detail. 🙂
A little Pi Day humor…colored pencil + sharpie 😂
After the horrendous shootings in New Zealand, I’m praying for all affected. Even though my faith is entirely different than those suffering, I have deep compassion for them and pray the Lord will minister to each and every person in their time of need.
I didn’t have any stamp that seemed appropriate – but I took the Jordan stamp from Picket Fence, masked off the hair, and drew in a hijab. I thought the butterfly would be perfectly emblematic for my prayer for the grieving…that they’ll see new life spring out of this tragedy.
I tried something that didn’t really work – powdered pencil with a stencil. Better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all, right? I added Psalm 139 in light pencil, lightening the pressure as I got to each of the flowers to make it look transparent.
The stencil is long out of production…I added in my own pencil work where the detail didn’t work with the stencil.
I don’t really believe in luck, but since it’s St Pattys Day…. 🙂 I used the Jordan stamp from Picket Fence, the one I adapted a few days ago for the Muslim woman. Colored with copics, no masking.
Background and image colored in Copic markers.

This was another attempt with the poppy stencil used the other day – this time I dipped the cotton ball in baby oil first. It unfortunately collected oil under the edge of the stencil, so….this one didn’t work as hoped since it now has oil stains. Sentiment stamp by Picket Fence, Exhale Worry
Stamp is Sweet Bunny from IO, colored in Copics.
Easter bunnies from MFT with sweet watercolor.
I’m getting excited about the tulip festival soon…I painted a background for Molly.
Sentiment from Beautiful Mandala. Background created with Mousse!
First I appliied a thin coat using the Nuvo brush. I was surprised how easily the bristles washed out! Then I used a really old stencil, and applied a thicker coat using a palette knife. Heat set to get the hexes to raise up.
Beautiful Girl Karen, colored with distress inks via those tiny little picket fence brushes. Not easy, but doable.
Beautiful Girl Sydnee, in watercolor, background in distress oxides using an ancient stencil.
Honeycomb stamp by MFT….with Copics. Nice and easy!
I used an Altenew Feathered Leaves Stencil for this, with Nuvo mousse – YUM!
Getting excited for tulip season!
Stamp is Dany, all colored in polychromos pencils. Sky is in powdered pencil.

See you tomorrow with the next panel in my book…Happy National Craft Month!

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