Monday, July 30, 2012

art journaling for the 1st time

"We all need to be different and that's beautiful."

These are some of the first things Anna Dabrowska aka Finnabair said before she started her class last Tuesday. With these few words, she gave me the motivation to have fun with my first art journal. That's right -- I started an art journal. I barely think of myself as a scrapbooker and there I was taking a class with Anna Dabrowska.

Anna's blog has pictures of her beautiful artwork, which I've admired for over a year now. She designs for Prima and 7 Dots. Her work is like no other. And I could hardly believe I was about to take a class with Anna Dabrowska. To say I was a little nervous is a huge understatement. 
Hey Natalie, it's gonna be okay!
However, my goal this year is to explore new ideas, learn new techniques, and meet new people. In the scrapbooking world, you can't get more innovative and creative and artistic than Anna Dabrowska. Her words and generosity and sense of humour were just the right ingredients to make this one of the best classes I've ever taken.
That's the great Anna Dabrowska! In person!!!
Anna also has a great teaching style. First, she does the project with her students, which is great because we get to see her creative process in action. She also likes to gather everyone around her work station and show us the steps to the project. I found this to be a very intimate and personal way of teaching and learning because I felt very connected to Anna. It also allowed us to go back to our work stations and create something that was uniquely ours.
Photo credit: Scrap en masse
We spent the morning working on embellishing and altering the Prima canvas cover. We used strips of canvas paper and what seemed like an explosion of embellishments and found objects. It didn't look great, but I hoped that a bit colour would tie everything together.
Waiting to be painted
We ended using a lot of colour! We first applied a thick, heavy & transparent gel medium, which ensured that the colour would adhere to our embellishments. I created a purple by using a bright blue and a bright pink, and then added some green. I finished off the cover with the Luminarte powder in a nice orange and covered some spots with Silks acrylic glaze in a rich colour called pomegranite. I then stamped the cover and inked the edges in Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

The end result is perfectly me.
I love purple!
Wow! How cool is that?

In the afternoon, we worked on two of the interior pages. For the first page, we used scraps of paper, which were then covered in gesso. More scraps added layers. But the highlight was using tea to stain the paper and fabric flowers. You read that right -- we used TEA! We first dropped tea bags on the paper to create some splats and then mixed the tea with Vintage Photo Distress Re-inker to create nice stains on the page.
Love those splats! I did manage to wipe away those tea grains....
 This is the final page. It's quite romantic, don't you think?
I love the layers of stamping.
We didn't have much time for the second page, but I thought the techniques Anna showed us were soooo cool. We painted our paper with Distress Stains and then created some more splats. These looked awesome and I could do them easily, which means I will definitely do them again!

I feel like I created a page that is cool and fun and kinda happy.
I love this page!
I guess you can tell that I *really* enjoyed this class! LOL! I feel honoured to have been part of this experience. It gave me a ton of ideas and, most importantly, Anna gave me the confidence to try these ideas.
Thank you Anna!
Thanks also to the amazing team at Scrap en masse who worked hard to bring this course to us and organized a perfect day!

Anna mentioned that she has an art journal, which is travelling to friends who are adding their own pages to the journal. I loved this idea and immediately asked my friends Rosa (she's super talented) and Diane (The Crazy Good Talented Diva) and my dad (who is a painter) and my son (who has the crafting bug).

The art journaling continues. Stay tuned!


  1. This turned out great! I, too, very much enjoyed the class - she's an excellent teacher.

  2. New follower...# 9 ! Congrats on your blog and your great Purplicious project. It was neat how you showed the progression. Hope you can stop by and follow as well on this link up party.
    Creative Wishes,
    Claire S
    p.s. must admit, I hate word verification and when I just went, yours popped up next to impossible. For the link up parties, you might want to ditch it temporarily???

  3. Really nice work Natalie! I really missed a great class! I will have to figure it out! The work is really great!