Layering Technique for Art Journals

Art Journal Flip Through

I love art journals because there are so many options for creating pages.  I love using my art journal for experimenting different techniques. 

I also use my art journal as inspiration for jewelry pieces.  I love experimenting with paper and paint and then seeing how that page could inspire a jewelry piece.

This is exactly what I teach in Inspired eCourse.

Today I wanted to share my art journal so far for 2017.  I started with a brand new art journal.  When I bought this art journal the owner of the store asked me if I had worked with square art journals before.  I told her I had not.  She said, “You’re going to love it!”

She was so right.

My art journal is the Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal 8 x 8.

This year (so far) I have been somewhat obsessed with layering paper and collage to create my pages.  All of them are done with that technique.

I wanted to share my pages as inspiration for you.  I did a video flip through that you can watch and/or you can check out the pages below and I’ll explain how I created them.

Here’s the video flip through:

Part of the reason I’ve been so inspired by paper layering this year, I think, is because at the beginning of the year I went through all of my art supplies.  I donated a lot of things that I knew I wouldn’t use.  That left me with only things I really, really loved.

I have been hoarding lots of different vintage ephemera and lots of little pieces of scrapbook paper that I love.  When I was cleaning out stuff I got everything organized in the way I actually use them.

Also having less to look through and make decisions about is really helpful.  I highly recommend a clean up/purging of any kind of craft supplies every so often.

  1.  It helps you see and remember all the stuff you already have.  Sometimes you completely forget about things.  You’ll be re-inspired by all the stuff you decide to keep.
  2. Having less means having fewer decisions to make.  I don’t have to decide between as many different things anymore.  Having fewer choices is actually really helpful for creativity.

My Art Journal Pages so Far:

Art Journal Page - layering

You’ll see this technique throughout my art journal:  watercolor background and layered paper on top.  I also like making lists and adding that to my pages as well.  Sometimes the list will almost be poem-like, and sometimes it’s more of “what I’m doing right now” list.


  • Watercolors
  • Stamps/stamping ink (dandelion and dragonfly)
  • Sheet music
  • Ripped scrapbook paper
  • List that I typed on a manual typewriter
  • World that I cut from a calendar or book (I don’t really remember)
  • On the right more scrapbook papers
  • An image from an old book.

Art Journal Page - layering


  • Watercolors
  • Scrapbook paper
  • A vintage receipt
  • A tag from a Christmas gift I received this year
  • The green ad on the right side is actually a reproduction that I got in a scrapbook or art journal kit.
  • Mirror selfie.  It didn’t print properly because I was running out of ink, but I thought it looked cool on this page.

Art Journal Page - layering

Art Journal Page - layering

Here I started getting into more interactive pages.  The file folder opens up.  I actually used it because I wanted to keep the journaling more private (which is why some of it is blurred out in the photo.)


  • Watercolor pencils
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Postage stamps
  • Rub ons (I believe they’re all from Tim Holtz)
  • The floral paper is by Rae Missigman
  • Pattern paper (patterns that you make clothes with!)
  • Tiny file is by 7 Gypsies
  • World paper is from an old book or calendar

Art Journal

This is a mini Word of the Year vision board I created for the Word of the Year Talisman Workshop.  (You can get that workshop here.)

On the left side I wrote in pen and then used matte medium to attach tissue paper over it.  Layered on top are a heart and the word love that I painted on watercolor paper and cut out.  On the right side it’s just a collage of mostly magazine images and words cut out and a photo I took.


  • Pen
  • Tissue paper
  • Watercolor paper and watercolors
  • Magazine cut outs
  • Photograph (I took the sunflower photo in the upper right corner.)

Art Journal

This is another interactive page and is my favorite so far!  I have a collection of correspondence from the 1920s, which I’ve been holding on to for years.  I’ve used little bits of it here and there.  I don’t know the person and I don’t have any actual personal connection, but the letters are sweet and so fascinating.  I only have one side of the story, however.

The envelop on the right side actually contains the letter in it.  It’s ripped on the right side, so the letter can be pulled out.


  • Watercolor
  • Gel pens for all the doodling, as well as a white colored pencil
  • Various little pieces of scrapbook paper
  • Part of the green receipt that I’ve used on other pages in this journal
  • Letter from the 1920s
  • The negative from punching out a butterfly
  • A cute little sticker from a vintage photo

Art Journal

On this page I have used fabric and I have a great technique for adding fabric to art journals (or for scrapbooking or for cards) that I teach in the introduction of Inspired eCourse.


  • Watercolors
  • Old sheet music
  • Mirror selfie photo
  • Piece of a map from an old atlas
  • Cut out from an old art book (that’s what’s on top on the left side)
  • Fabric (with the birds and bird cages)
  • Part of my jeans that tore
  • Tag

Art Journal

This page is also interactive.  The left side has a pocket that holds a tag that you can pull out.  The tag has journaling on it.  On this particular day I wrote all the small miracles that happened.  (Once you start looking for them, they happen all the time!)


  • Pattern paper (from a clothes pattern)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Various pieces from cut apart scrapbook paper
  • Tag

I hope this was inspiring for you!

Inspired eCourse

Do you want to feel inspired and design your own jewelry based on art journal pages that you create with prompts?

Check out my Inspired eCourse!

The introduction is all about getting started art journaling and I also have some fun techniques for you.

Each week you’ll get a creativity activity and art journal prompt, create an art journal page and then I’ll show you a map to go from art journal page to inspired jewelry piece.  You’ll be designing your own jewelry, but I also have a jewelry project each week to inspire you, give you techniques or you can make it if you’re feeling stuck.

Learn more about Inspired eCourse here.

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase I get a small percentage – at no extra cost to you!  Anything I recommend I have actually used myself and love!

ECT TV Episode 80: How to Make a Wire Bead

ECT TV Episode 80 - Wire Bead

On today’s episode of Emerging Creatively Tutorials TV (ECT TV), I have a fun and simple wire bead tutorial.

You can use this bead in your jewelry creations to give your projects a little more personality and fun.

Here’s the video:

As I mention in the video, the inspiration for these wire beads started as an art journal layout.

Here’s that art journal page:

ECT TV Episode 80 - Wire Bead

I’ve been somewhat obsessed with layering paper over a watercolor background in my art journal this year.  (I’ll share more examples of different pages tomorrow here on the blog.)

For this page, I started out by using different colors of watercolors, including a metallic color.

Then I did some doodling using a silver pen as well as a white colored pencil.

Finally the paper layering came in.  I used pieces of scrapbook paper as well as an old letter from the 1920s and an old receipt.  (The actual letter is still in tact inside the envelop and the envelop has an opening on the right side to slide the letter out.)

Going from art journal page to jewelry:

ECT TV Episode 80 - Wire Bead

When I’m using an art journal page as inspiration for jewelry, I like to make a “map” of colors, themes and other things from the art journal page.

I might make the jewelry piece based on colors or on the general feel of the art journal page or symbolism that is in the art journal page.

In this case, I mostly used the colors as inspiration for my jewelry piece:  green and the brassy metallic colors from the page.  The veining on the gemstone chips, as well as the brass color of the wire beads also gives me the feeling of an older time, which I also get from the art journal page.

When I was thinking about making this bracelet, I knew I wanted to add the brass color and I had the wire.  I could have used the wire to make some sort of wire wrapped jewelry piece using the brass wire, but I wanted the brass to be more prominent.  I also thought the messy look of the wire beads would add more interest to the bracelet and fit well with the art journal page as well.

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

This bracelet is the final result.

Maybe you see something different and most likely you would come up with something completely different for your jewelry piece.

Inspired eCourse

In Inspired eCourse I go into detail about this process.  In fact, I give you creativity activities and art journal prompts, then show you my exact process for mapping out a jewelry piece inspired by your art journal page, we sketch jewelry design ideas and I give you a jewelry tutorial each week.

Most Inspired eCourse students are inspired to design their own jewelry pieces.  You can use the jewelry project tutorial each week however you like.  You may want to make the piece exactly as I show you.  You might use it for inspiration for your own design.  You might learn a new technique to incorporate into your own design.

Find out more about Inspired eCourse and sign up now!

Step-by-Step Photo Instructions for the wire bead:

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Materials and Tools:

  • 22 gauge half-hard round wire *
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Something small and cylindrical to wrap around.  Ideas include:  small knitting needle, small dowel rod, artist paintbrush, jump ring mandrel (that’s what I used.)

*Wire:  You really can use any wire you like.  I’ve used mostly 22 gauge wire for these beads and it works well.  You could use a thicker gauge such as 20 gauge wire, which would probably work well, but it will be more difficult to wrap.

Thinner gauges like 24 gauge will be easier to wrap, but won’t hold their shape as well.  You can experience with gauges and see how it works.  22 gauge half-hard round works well.

Step #1

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Working off the spool (do not cut any wire), hold the wire against your cylindrical object leaving about a 1 inch tail of wire.

Use that wire tail to help hold the wire while you’re wrapping.

Step #2

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Decide how long you’d like your bead.  Then wrap the wire down the mandrel to create a base of the size you’d like your bead to be.

Step #3

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Now wrap up the other direction right on top of the wraps you just made.

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Continue to wrap up and down on top of the previous wraps.  For this messy look, just wrap freestyle not trying to be neat.

Step #4

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Once your bead is the size you want, pull it off and trim the excess wire making flush cuts.

Use chain nose pliers to make sure the ends are not poking out.

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead

Use your wire beads just like you would any other bead.

ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead


Want to get these ECT TV Episodes in your inbox, so you don’t have to remember to come looking for them?

Sign up for my newsletter!

You can also sign up for my Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry as well, which is 10 days of lessons to give you a solid foundation for making wire wrapped jewelry.

Sign up here:

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Choose your Adventure

Want a PDF of the wire bead tutorial to save and print easily?  Get it below:

(Note:  This PDF eBook is exactly what you see here on this post and in the video.  I’m offering it as an easy way for you to save and/or print the tutorial easily.)

ECT TV Episode 80:  Wire Bead PDF eBook
ECT TV Episode 80: Wire Bead PDF eBook
Get the PDF eBook version of the Wire Bead tutorial. Note: it is the same as what you see here, but in an easy to download, save and/or print version.

Why Choose a Word of the Year? (Plus my Word of the Year)

Why Choose a Word of the Year

Why choose a Word of the Year?

Watch the video or read below:

Life moves so quickly, doesn’t it?  When you’re not paying attention an entire year flies by and it feels like you don’t know what you did or what you accomplished.

But when you do pay attention, you can embrace each day as a gift and live it fully . . . no matter what you’re doing any particular day.

I started choosing a word of a day several years ago to start living my life with intention.  The older I get the quicker days and years fly by.  When I was younger I felt like I had all the time in the world.  Now, I know that I don’t.

I often say that every single person dies.  No one is getting out alive.  It may sound morbid, but I use it as inspiration to live my life as fully as possible.  I know I have a finite amount of time on this planet, so I want to get as much out of it as I can.

Having said that, we only do have so much time each day.  We still have responsibilities and commitments, but we can face those commitments with wholehearted intention.

When you choose a word for your year, you’re choosing an intention of how you want to live your life.

Last year my word was “wholehearted.”  I wanted everything I did to be wholehearted.  I wanted to either fully commit or not commit to each action I did.

It was helpful because even for the things I don’t necessarily love to do (cleaning, for example) I chose to do wholeheartedly.  I found a way to feel fully committed and intentional about the task I was doing at the moment.

For example, I don’t love to clean, but I love to have a clean house.  I can feel wholehearted about cleaning because of the outcome of the action.

My word this year

I struggled choosing one word this year.  I have several words that are my core desired feelings and I had a difficult time choosing between them.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that they could all fall under one category and that was Love.

My Word of the Year is . . .

Love can be an unclear word, but I have defined it for myself.  And I suggest when you choose your word you use whatever definition works for you.  What does your word mean to you?

For me love is:

  • An extreme kindness that I can show to myself, my family, my friends and every other human being.
  • Giving my time, money, and energy to organizations who need it.
  • Sharing my gifts so that others can discover and share their gifts as well.
  • The opposite of hate.
  • The opposite of fear.

When I think about how love will be a part of my year, I will think, “How can I find love here?” In any location and in any circumstance.

What is your word for the year?

I would love to hear it!  Pop it into the comments below.  You can add a little about what it means to you or just keep that to yourself.

If you’re not sure yet, I have some exercises and worksheets in the Word of the Year Talisman Workshop that you can work through so you can figure it out!

Plus you’ll get ideas for how to bring that word into your everyday life.  I’ll walk you through a vision board and you’ll make a piece of jewelry to use as a Word of the Year Talisman to remind you of your word all year long.

Get it all right here:

Word of the Year Talisman Workshop

3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry

3 Part Series eBook

Last month I shared a 3 Part Series to help you get started with wire wrapped jewelry.

Part 1 is  about where to get wire, which is one of my most asked questions.

Part 2 is about the tools you need to get started.

And Part 3 is tutorial and we’ll actually use wire and make a pair of earrings.  (It is ECT TV Episode 77:  Wire Wrapped Chandelier Crystal Earrings)

You can find each of these 3 parts free on my website at the links above.

However, I know that a lot of you love PDFs that are easier to download and save, so I created a 20 page eBook with all the information (including the step-by-step photos and instructions for the tutorial in part 3), so you can keep it handy.

(Note:  The information in the eBook is the same as the blogposts; however, it’s in one easy-to-access place in this eBook.  You can download it and save it so you can find it to access it again and again!)

You can get the eBook by purchasing it below:

3 Part Series:  Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry PDF eBook
3 Part Series: Getting Started with Wire Wrapped Jewelry PDF eBook
Get started making wire wrapped jewelry with this 3 Part eBook. Originally it appeared on my blog for free, now you can download and save the information.

After your purchase, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the PDF.

ECT TV Episode 79: Planning Your Creative Projects for the New Year

Welcome to a new episode of ECT TV!

In Emerging Creatively Tutorials I show you jewelry making techniques and give you creativity tips.

Happy New Year!

I hope you’re off to a great start to the New Year!  Whether this is the first episode you’re watching or you’ve been watching from the beginning, I want to say thank you for all your support!

Today I’ll give you a step-by-step process to plan your creative projects for the year that will help you sort out from the many possibilities, schedule it in and then finally I’ll give you a bonus tip that will make you super effective during your creative time.

Watch the video:

Prefer to read?  Here’s the information from the video:

As I start a new year I love planning and thinking about how I want to feel and I love setting goals.  As part of that, I think about what creative projects I’m planning for the year.

Going back, the last few months of 2016 I got very overwhelmed with the amount of things I wanted to do.  I had a lot of trouble making decisions and so I ended up not making any decisions and, thus, I didn’t really work on many creative projects.

This year I decided to take the decision making out of the picture altogether.  I made a plan and a schedule. I don’t have to make any decisions because they have already been made.

I started this process a few weeks ago and the results have been amazing.  I’m going to walk you through all the steps.  Once you go through these steps it’s a lot easier to get to the fun creating part!

Step #1

What do you want to work on this year?

Make a whole big list and don’t edit it yet.  Just let yourself brainstorm everything.

This can, of course, also include projects that you’d like to complete from last year that you’re still working on plus anything new you’d like to do or to learn.

Step #2

How much time do you have to devote to your creative activities?

When can you schedule them in?

For me, this means I work on my creative hobbies in the evenings after dinner.

Maybe you have kids and your only free time is after they’re tucked in bed.  Or perhaps you have time first thing in the morning.

When do you realistically have time and how much time do you have?

Step #3

Now we’ll narrow down the list of creative projects from Step #1 into a list that you actually have time for.

I always have about a thousand projects that I want to do, but when I compare that long list to the time I have I know it’s not even possible.

So I have to choose what’s most important to me.

Decide on the top few projects that you can realistically work on.  If they’re long term/large projects you may only be able to choose a few.  Choose as many as you have time to work on.

You don’t have to get rid of the rest of the list.  Keep it for the future.  This is just what we’re focusing on right now.

{For me:  I have decided to work on 3 scrapbooking projects and 1 art journal project.  I didn’t consider jewelry making in my list because it’s a given that I work on daily because it’s my job to teach jewelry making and I work on it during the day.

There are many other projects that I want to work on and I kept them in a list.  If I have time, I may work on them, but they’re not my focus.}

Step #4

Make a concrete schedule for those creative projects within the schedule that you made in Step #2.

{For me:  I’ll be working most evenings on my creative projects.  I have taken my 3 scrapbooking projects and choose which specific days I’ll work on those projects.  I have a couple of open days that I can choose to work more on those projects or work on another creative project or do something else altogether.}

Now that you have made a schedule, you don’t have to make decisions on what to work on when.  You simply work on whatever creative project you chose at the time you chose.  It just simplifies everything.

Step #5

To maximize your creative time, get your supplies together and organized for each creative project.

Organizing your supplies is great, of course, because you can find everything.  But there’s a bonus of finding things you forgot about or misplaced, letting things go that you just don’t use and thus giving you more breathing room and finding renewed inspiration!

Bonus Tip:

Make kits of the exact supplies you’ll use for each project and place in a box or basket.  Then when it’s the allotted time for that specific project, just grab the basket and get to work!

What if you want freedom, not rules?

Me, too!  I love creative projects because I can express myself and not do what other people think I should.  I don’t like being put in a box and I’m a free spirit at heart.

However, I also get overwhelmed and stuck when I have to make a lot of decisions.  Making these decisions ahead of time is actually really freeing.  I started this process a few weeks ago and I have to say it’s been amazing.  I’m working on creative projects so much more.

And having said all of this, nothing is set in stone.  You made the schedule, you can change it.  You can add things to your list, take them off or switch things for a little while.

I want to help you to be able to express yourself more freely, not tie you down!

I hope this helps you get creative this year!

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Choose your Adventure

Special Announcements about ECT TV:

  • ECT TV comes out every other week.  I’ll be alternating a jewelry making technique video with creative tips and hints videos (like this very episode!)
  • Also previously I had been sharing PDFs of each episode freely with step-by-step photo/written instructions to my newsletter subscribers since the very beginning of the series and it’s extremely time consuming.  The PDFs will no longer be available for free, but you’ll still get all the same content in the videos!
  • The PDFs for the jewelry making tutorials will be available for a small, affordable fee and the PDFs for the older episodes will be available soon as well.

Again, the videos will remain free and you can get notified of new episodes by signing up for my newsletter above.

Also – there will be a new blogpost here on my website each Wednesday.  On the weeks for ECT TV, you’ll find the video and show notes from the episode.  On the other weeks I’ll have posts about creativity and jewelry making.

Want to see my progress in all of my creative projects this year?  I’ll be sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow me on either (or both) of those places.