What if Scrapbooking is dead? Other uses for Tools and Supplies

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This article is written by  Ann Strecko Koeman

While I attended the last Craft and Hobby Association Conference and Trade Show in Anaheim, California in the United States, I often heard the following phrase:  “Scrapbooking is dead.”  Now, I also heard several people bemoan that statement and even express complete denial, while others nodded in agreement and expressed their own agreement.

Crop bag with Scrapbooking tools and supplies now used as Mixed Media tool kit

Although I do believe that the commercial and retail aspects of selling scrapbooking supplies has reached its peak and is quickly declining as so many fads do, I don’t believe it will completely disappear.  After all the concept of collecting and cataloguing memories in paper form has been around since the invention of paper, it also continues to be essential to our existence and to the history of our future generations.  Although the accumulation and collection of memories is done differently these days and appears to be the wave of the future.  We take a lot more digital images now and record a lot more of our experiences, we just do it differently.

So what are we to do with all of those tools and supplies we have invested in over the decades?  I say, keep them and use them.  If however you have chosen to completely give up on anything handmade then please send your unwanted tools to another loving home.  But if you are reading this, I gather that you still have a love for the handmade process.  Mixed Media artists now is the time to take advantage of all those clearance sales and cast offs of unwanted scrapbooking tools.  Just because a tool or supply is marketed to be sold in one market does not mean it cannot be used in another.  Over the years I have collected a variety of skills and thus a vast collection of tools including an overpriced collection of intended for scrapbooking tools.  I am keeping my best tools for my Mixed Media work.  As a Mixed media artist any supply is game and any tool is game.  I will use my straight edge 12 inch trimmers, my punches, and even my page layout guides in my art.  I still need to cut things, make shapes, and those plastic page layout guides, well they make great stencils!

Mixed Media Art background made with the help of Scrapbook doodles templates and punches

As for all those 12 x 12 papers I have collected, they are great in mixed media making, especially in making my own books.   so are those stickers they make great masks.  All those embellishments are just that, embellishments.  I am also hanging on to my old scrapbooking supplies and tools because I am way behind in my memory album keeping.  For example I have yet to finish my now 18 year old son’s baby album!  In the mean time I am having fun collecting more of my neighbours unwanted  out of date scrapbook papers, and buying out lots of discontinued embossing folders at low prices.  Scrapbooking may be a dying fad but Mixed media art making is very much alive.

Art journal page with layer of scrapbook paper fussy cut images and die cuts

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Ann loves to collect and organize as many tools and supplies as possible because she is always making things.  Incredibly she finds a use for most of her collections.  She enjoys making Mixed Media Art because it allows her to use all her skills and collections.

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Love Bookmarks for Valentine’s Day

This article is written by Cecilia Sanchez Peralta

How many things can be used to make a bookmark?
While I’m working on something with mixed media techniques, I am not aware of all the material I use.

I use a little of everything on the fly.
When I finished these bookmarks, I’ve put together all the material.

Here is all together:

Love Bookmarks

Supplies:

Gesso,  gel medium, acrylic painting, watercolors, markers, inks, acrylic stamps, glimmer mist, embossing paint, markers, glitter, pastel, stencil, cardboard, brushes, cutters, etc ..

And here are my bookmarks for Valentine’s Day. Full of love.

Love Bookmarks

Love Bookmarks

Love Bookmarks

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My name is Cecilia Sanchez (CeciScrap) and I live in Málaga, Spain.

I am married and we have three gorgeous sons. They inspire me every day with their crazy ideas.

Since my childhood I liked the photography, drawing, collage and make photo albums with cuts and travel souvenirs. I also love crafts in general. In 2006, a few months after birth my twins, I discovered scrapbooking, digital first and then the traditional. I love to do 30X30 pages, cards and mini albums, and for a while now I am fascinated with the Art Journal and Mixed Media, and I do not imagine scrapbooking without getting my hands dirty.
I am inspired by everyday things, feelings … The art journal is a real diary for me, because sometimes I need to express feelings with colors and shapes.

I love learning and discovering new techniques and materials.
I am part of the European design team of KURETAKE, and I am also designer for a monthly blog challenge Sweet Card Club. I contribute with some blogs and digital magazines and organized Scrapbooking workshops in Malaga.

You can see more of me at:

ceciscrap.blogspot.com.es

facebook.com/ceciscrap

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Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India Inks

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This article is written by Anjuli Johnson

Being an art supply junkie is something I think all of us reading this can relate to.  The act of creation can be fairly difficult without anything to create with.  We can’t make something from nothing.  So the quest to find different and creative ways or organizing different materials into art is a constant, never ending adventure, and if you’re anything like me, becoming proficient in using a few materials over and over again isn’t satisfying enough- new materials need to be found and experimented with until we become proficient in using them, and we continue to find new things to work with.

This past week my new material was Dr. PH Martin’s Bombay India ink set.

Sets of India Ink

I used to think that India ink was only available in one color- black.  Nope, these different sets of inks come with as many as 12 colors, all vibrant and versatile.  I decided to try a few different techniques to see just how versatile they are.  Here are a few of the ones I tried.

India and Alcohol ink on clear acetate

Card

India Ink and Alcohol ink on clear acetate

I made these cards for Mother’s Day.  Black and white cardstock with clear acetate attached to top with brads.  I colored the acetate using alcohol inks and india ink.  I tried it two different ways- india ink first, followed by alcohol ink, and vice versa.  It worked both ways.  Even thick drips of alcohol ink had no effect on the india ink once it was dry.  As long as I didn’t rub it really hard, the ink stayed fast.  I’m going to be using this technique a lot. 

Clay pendant

This is a really simple polymer clay pendant I made.  I baked the clay before I painted it, but once the ink dries, it’s permanent.  Anyone who makes polymer clay jewelry, charms, or even art journals- this adds another dimension to the possibilities open to you.

Sketch with white and colored inks on black paper

Sketch with white and colored inks on black paper

These are from a sketch I made in my black journal.  I was curious to see how these inks worked on black paper.  Though the colored inks soaked in and didn’t show that well, the white is amazing on the black.  You can even dilute it a little bit.  These inks are pretty intense, and adding a little water can make them last longer and go further without taking much away from their brilliancy.  Once I was finished with the white, I used some of the other colors on top so they would stand out.  A little more work, but it’s a way to be able to have all the colors stand out against a black background.  So fun!

Tree drawn directly onto encaustic wax

This is an example of a sketch directly onto encaustic wax.  You can sketch onto tissue or rice paper and add it on top of the wax, but I didn’t want to see the edges of the paper.  I used my calligraphy tips to sketch and color in the tree, then I added a couple layers of wax before I spritzed some diluted red ink onto the branches, as a way to add leaves without drawing them individually.  Once again, when the ink dries, it becomes permanent and you can leave it as a top layer, or use more wax layers on top.

So, these are some of the things I’ve tried this week with my new india inks.  I’ve found a few tutorials in addition to these techniques that sound amazingly fun. Here’s a quick list with links so you can try them yourself-

Gouache painting with India Ink- www.craftsy.com

Masking fluid resist- www.alenahennessy.com

Shellac sprayed with India Ink- www.littleblackjournal.com

India Ink with bleach- arteascuola-miriampaternoster.blogspot.ca

Watercolor and India ink- www.youtube.com

So, now you have another supply set to add to your growing list of must-try art supplies.  Go have some fun!

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Anjuli Johnson is a Mixed Media Artist from Raleigh, NC.  She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since.  She loves all things mixed media- paper, paint, pens, wire, gears, clay… the list goes on and on.  She is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.  To see more of Anjuli’s art and techniques, check out her website at www.thefarpavilion.com, her blog at www.thefarpavilion.blogspot.com, and like her Facebook page TheFarPavilion

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