Category Archives: Art Journals

Whimsical Christmas Tree

Good morning everyone!  I’ve got a new art journal page for you today, created using Basically Bare’s 5×7 Artful Journal.  The watercolor pages are nice and thick and colors do not bleed through to the other side.  I actually saturated this page with color.

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  1. Stamp the stars using embossing liquid and then emboss with silver powder.
  2. Spray Ink Spot (by Art Anthology) or another dark ink onto your page, blotting and drying until you’ve reached the depth of color you are going for.
  3. Stamp your tree with Versafine ink onto a piece of paper, emboss with clear embossing powder, and cut out, leaving a wide margin.  I painted mine with Art Anthology Ferrari and Parakeet Sorbet.  I embossed the star with silver embossing powder.
  4. Add a trunk cut from a piece of paper and color with a dark brown paint.
  5. Die cut holly and snowflakes from cardstock.  I painted the holly leaves and then embossed with clear powder.  The snowflakes were embossed with silver powder.
  6. Stamp Merry Christmas in black ink and then emboss with green embossing powder.  Adhere everything to the page.
  7. I outlined Merry Christmas with a white pen.  I had also outlined the tree with a red paint pen but went back over it with a white pen.  Next I outlined the holly leaves and snowflakes with a black Micron pen.
  8. Finally, outline the page with a red paint pen.

You are done!

Looking for Basically Bare products?  Just go to our Website and sign up for an account (you’ll need an account to view pricing).  And yes, we do sell at retail.

Until later………………

Supplies Used:
Basically Bare 5 x 7 Arful Binder
Art Anthology Ink Spot Colorations
Art Anthology Ferrari and Parakeet Sorbet
Technique Junkies Star Power and Merry Christmas 2 stamps
Sizzix Movers and Shapers Mini Pine Tree & Holly Set and Mini Snowflakes Set
Clear Embossing Powder
Silver Embossing Powder
Red Sharpie Paint Pen
Micron 03 Black Pen
White Pen

Mixed Media Junk Journal

Hi crafty friends! I wanted to make something that wasn’t Xmas themed even though it is coming up. I like to be different ! Anyhow, I have been wanting to do a Junk Journal using the Timeless Tab Album from Basically Bare Online Shop


I first took it apart and papered some of the pages from the album, I also used the inserts from the Prima Mixed Media 7×9 Album. Which includes paper tags, plain canvas sheets, watercolor papers, resist canvas sheets, plastic sleeves, double sided card stock, photo insert sheets. I also added some double sided designer folders from a Heidi Swap pkg I had in my stash. I left it blank because this will be going to a friend for Xmas. I will post a video link once I upload it , it will contain the rest of the pages that aren’t pictured here. I didn’t want this blog to be too long. The papers that I used were some of my favorite from The Paper Studio, Haberdashery & Kellerkurtz&Company . 


In the above photo collage are some of the pages from my album. I also used one of the adorable frames from Basically Bare called Fanciful Frames  , I used one of the chipboard ones that I embossed in Black embossing powder. I loved how it looked on the front cover page. I added a tiny doily with a ivory flat back pearl to accent the frame. I hot glued it on, after I had already glued some wide vintage lace and a beautiful vintage appliqué . I will be posting a link to my video that shows a more extensive look at this journal . I hope you like it and will order your self this or other selections of albums from the Basically Bare Online Store




Starry Starry Night

Hi!  Suzz here.

I have been wanting to create a journal to use for colors and capturing ideas, techniques or color combinations to use at a later time.

The Artful Journal – 6″ x 9″ is the perfect size to carry along with me when I am out and about and fits nicely anywhere when I want to jot down an idea, sketch something or just create a page.


Which started looking like this:

6″x9″ Artful Journal

I decided to use one of the pages and apply it to the cover.   I took one of the pages from inside the journal and inked it up with a mix of colors.  They all look very monochromatic when done but I actually started with this mix of colors:


I was inking up some color combinations on my journal page and this one was a lovely blend of colors and I decided to smear them onto my craft mat add a bit of water.

I laid the journal page in the inky mix and pulled it up.  I then heat dried it with my heat gun.  I repeated this about 10 times.  This gives the lovely water marks and spots with different shades of color.

Once I had my pretty golden background with all the lovely splotches I decided I needed a sentiment and there is this lovely one from Impression Obsession, that I have had for awhile that hadn’t seen ink yet.  I stamped it in the center of the page using black water resistant ink.

Next I wanted some stars for my golden background and I knew I had some beautiful ones from the Celestial Shapes Die Cuts.

Celestial Shapes

I used the Acetate stars to accent my cover.


I used alcohol inks and blending solution.  3 drops of rust and caramel alcohol ink and 3 drops of alcohol blending solution.  Dabbed onto the surface to add the color.  Usually I wait a minute and let the first coat dry on the star and then repeat with the same inky applicator without re-applying any ink.  This gives a nice splotchy effect on the acetate.

I also used gold embossing paste and the Memory Box star stencil to add a smattering of golden stars and circles across the background.

After that dried I stamped script (Darkroom Door Eclectic Stamp) using Tsukineko Delicata Gold Glitz ink to stamp that script on the stars and the background randomly.  This ink needs extra drying time or to be heat set. be careful with your acetate as it will curl up if it is heated too much.  I let those dry naturally.

I then colored white twine with the gold ink and added a hint of the gold on the binder rings.  I heat set the gold on the binder rings as that surface would not hold the ink without being dried. When I was finished with my page I adhered it to the cover.

I wanted to mention I loved how the paper in the journal took the colors from the die inks.  Here is a another page of the journal which I used to put together a fun bright color palette:


Carved Pumpkin, Twisted Citron, Wilted Violet, Tuxedo Black

Remember you can purchase the journal and the celestial shapes in the Basically Bare on-line store.

I love how the paper enriches the colors.  I am looking forward to putting more ideas and colors into my new art journal!


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Wicked Journal Page

Good morning everyone!  I was in the Halloween mood and decided to create an Art Journal page using the Basically Bare 6×9 Art Journal.

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The background was created using Art Anthology Juice and Raider Colorations and the Art Anthology Meridian stencil.  I then stamped several Viva Las VegaStamps stamps in the background.

I then die cut the ghosts using the Sizzix Bigz die, inked them with Walnut Ink, and placed them where it looked like they were coming out of the tree.  I then cut several bats with the Movers & Shapers Tiny Bat die and the Bigz Hocus Pocus die (hat also).  The “wicked” is cut using the Thinlits Halloween words script.

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Looking for Basically Bare products?  Just go to our Website and sign up for an account (you’ll need an account to view pricing).  And yes, we do sell at retail.

Supplies Used:
Basically Bare 6×9 Art Journal
Art Anthology Colorations
Sizzix Bigz Die:  Hocus Pocus, Ghosts
Sizzix Movers & Shapers: Tiny Bat
Sizzix Thinlits: Halloween Script

Until later…………………….

2015-09-27 15.15.00

You Are Here

Hi everyone!  I wanted to share a journal page I created with the Basically Bare 6×9 Artful Journal.  It’s made of high quality watercolor paper and is a wonderful surface on which to create.

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As you can see, I added layers and layers of Art Anthology Colorations and paints, lots of stamping, washi tape, and embellishments.  I started out by laying down several different colors of spray, drying in between applications.   I then did a little stenciling with Art Anthology’s Cracked stencil and Tuxedo Velvet.

Before adding my stamped images, I smeared on a little gesso where I would be stamping in order to lighten things up and then stamped and colored my images.  I also added a little background stamping as I like lots of layers.  I wanted a sort of frame for the page so I used two strips of different washi tape up the side and then triangles laid sideways.  This gives a two-sided frame to the page.  Lastly I added my flower in the bottom right and outlined the lizard with a white gel pen.

Looking for Basically Bare products?  Just go to our Website and sign up for an account (you’ll need an account to view pricing).  And yes, we do sell at retail.

Supplies Used:
Basically Bare 6×9 Artful Journal
Art Anthology Colorations, Cracked Stencil, Tuxedo Velvet
Viva Las VegaStamps
Stampotique Design Cube
Washi Tape
White Gel Pen
Miscellaneous Embellishments

Until later…………………

Dressing Up a Journal Cover So It Has Somewhere To Go!


I needed a new journal. Now, journaling can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, a journal is a diary. For some, it’s a place to write down not-to-be-forgotten phone numbers, addresses, and shopping list. For some it’s a place to experiment with media productions and how they react with other products. My journaling is a sort of crossbreed of a diary and media experimentation. It’s certainly not meant to be shown to anybody, as nothing in it really a complete piece of work, but just the smallest sniggling of an idea.

As I always do, when I need a new notebook or journal or album, I go to my Basically Bare stash  and found this perfect sized journal for me. It’s called, quite simply, Art Journal and I chose the 5″x7″ size. You can find the art journals in the “Surface Essentials” section of the catalog here.

To embellish the covers, I start by taking the two hard chipboard covers off the ring binder and giving them a good coat of white gesso. I use Faber Castelle Gesso – but any gesso is fine. This will just keep my paint and inks and sprays from soaking into the chipboard – it also gives a white surface which will keep the colors used more true than the ‘cardboard brown’ color of chipboard.


Next I crumple up a piece of tissue paper and roll it into a ball – then I unwrap it and glue it to the the cover using PPA (Perfect Paper Adhesive). I glue down a lot of wrinkles and bumps. Also, because I wanted this to have an aged look to it – and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time distressing it, instead of white tissue, I used a vintage dress pattern piece which gives it that nice aged look. Then I added a couple pieces of crumpled Tim Holtz tissue paper. And set it all aside to dry … make sure each ‘layer’ of your cover is dry before moving forward. If you lay too many wet layers on top of each other (of different mediums) you have a good chance of not having it ever dry properly, and perhaps mildew.


Next, I used two stencils and embossing paste to add texture and additional pattern to the back ground. I used the text across the top of the journal and the brocade pattern across the bottom


From there, I take all the embellishments that I know I want to use and daub on white gesso. I like to use a foam brush for this so I can kind of ‘pounce’ the gesso on and I don’s have to struggle to get all the little pieces and cut outs covered with gesso.


While those are drying, glue a piece of lace across the top of the page. I adhere it down with Golden Gel Medium – but any clear drying glue will work. You will want to make sure all parts of the lace have glue – you don’t want to have anything lift on you after you’re finished with the cover!


Now it’s time to layout your embellishment pieces as you want them to be on your cover. Have fun – play around – see what combination and composition pleases your eye the most. When you have made your decision, glue everything down with a strong adhesive (I use E6000 glue). The embellishments I chose were Gears from the “Mixed Media Embellishments” section of the Basically Bare catalog here. I also used pieces from Blue Fern, Leaky Shed, Prima’s “Relics and Artifacts” (the angel head), a TIm Holtz metal clock, some Wild Orchid mini-roses, and a lightbulb charm and brass corners from who-knows-where. I like using brass corners on art journals, as they get a good workout usually, and the corners keep the cover from getting dogeared. Now dry brush gesso onto everything you have that isn’t already gessoed…and, yes, that includes the lace! Make sure your brush is pretty dry if you have detailed embellishments that you don’t want obscured (such as the metal time piece below. You’re just giving something for the final sprays and inks to grab onto.


Now is my favorite part … painting, misting spraying. I started out using heavily pigmented water colors for the light blue and green center of the piece – added Tim Holtz Espresso Distress Ink spray and then Tim Holtz Hickory Smoke Distress Ink spray in the corners. I also use a paper towel to blot anyplace I think I’ve sprayed too heavily, or that I want to remove a little color before it dries. There are no rules – play, have fun, experiment – it’s your journal!

Finally, with some water, I mix up some ColourArtes Inklingz in the “Miner Miner 49er” color, and highlight all the raised areas that I want to stand out – usually that means most of the highest parts of the composition.

In this photo you can see how the colors look while wet – they may seem garish, but they will tone down as they dry…so don’t be too shy about using color … these water based products will dull down a bit when dry!

Most often, I simply spray some pretty colors on the back with water based inks and spray some water and let the colors blend together and do what they want to. I dont’ want to add any embellishment because I want the book to lie totally flat while I’m working in it. If you’ve never used Ken Oliver’s “Colorburst” color pigments before, this is a great time to experiment and play with them!

DSC00009Once everything is dry (I always let mine sit overnight, just in case there’s some dampness left that I can’t feel with my hands), slip the covers back on the wire ring binding and press the ring tightly closed so they don’t slip out (this does not require Hercules – the bindings bend quite easily). And, voilà! A new journal to write, make art, make holiday card lists or just doodle while talking on the phone!

img119For Basically Bare, the Basically Bare catalog, and the Basically Bare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off until next time!

Basically Bare Steampunk Album – Part 1

I have some wonderful steampunk images that I’ve been saving for the longest time. I decided it was finally time to get them into some kind of book where I could actually see (read: find) them!

I found the perfect substrate for my product at Basically Bare – natually!Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.00.57 AM

I chose the Delightful Doors gatefold album from the Mixed Media Spiral Bound Albums section of the catalog.

I started with taking the book out of the O-Ring binding wire, so it would easier to work on the page alone without the whole book getting in the way. Also, it means that I could run my papers all the way to the edge of the paper. Of course you have to punch the holes back in the page after you’ve covered them with paper. I use a Zutter Bind-It-All to make the punches … but you could use a round or square paper punch, as long as you lined up each one.  Special tip! After putting paper on one side of a page, punch the holes while you can still see the holes on the reverse side. When you paper the other side, the original holes show so you can repunch! Easy peasy!

If the idea of taking the album apart scares you, just run your paper as far as the binding will allow. There will be a strip of the cardboard showing – but that’s okay. OR, you could color spritz the binding edge of the page before you put the paper on.

Here are the beginnings of my Steampunk gatefold album. I’ve already distressed and inked them.


The front of my album has two papers – a basic background and the steampunk design I really wanted to use. It wasn’t large enough to cover the entire front cover, so I cut it in half and layered in on the background papers of the cover gatefold pages.


Once you open the album covers, you will discover a wonderful array of materials and sizes of pages to work with and make your album really special. The first small piece in the photo above is really a sideways envelope – a great place for a tag! And the page under it is a nice large page for decorating or making mixed media collage.

DSC00003Here we see the reverse side of the tag pocket, another full envelope, and I know exactly what I’m putting in there, and the reverse side of the large page we saw in the photo just before this one.


One of the pages is a sheet of acrylic plastic. Instead of using paper I layers large strips of mica on it, so that it remains transparent, but still has a distressed aged look. It worked terrifically! You can also see the next page direction behind it.


The next page set – another nice large page for collaging, or journaling or the background for a photo. We also see the harlequin pattern with typography which is the reverse side of the page you can see behind the transparent mica page above.


And the final page which is also a terrific space for collaging or using as a backround for a photograph or piece of memorabilia.

Once you’ve finished inking and distressing the edges of the pages, you can put them back in the O-Ring binder wires and squeeze them shut so the pages can’t fall out. I use my Zutter Bind-it-All for this, too – but you can just use your hands to squeeze the wires. Since I have the machine I use it!

Check back in a few days, when I’ll show you the completed, decorated album using lots of Basically Bare embellishments and diecuts!

Thanks for stopping by – please leave a message so I know you visited! And be sure to stop back for Part 2 of this album post!

For the Basically Bare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off! Have a swell day!


My Journal Page #2

Good Morning and welcome to another page of the “My Journey” series.

We have started the Journal with our beautiful 8 1/2 x 11 Artful Binder. I really love this big guy..he allows for lots of added room and the possibilities are endless.

I have made this page simple as it will be the page that holds the photos I don’t want to scrap (these pages will come later. I am all about preparing “)

My Journal pg 2

Come see me over at


and share what you may have done with your

Artful Binder.


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Backgrounds for Art Journaling

Hi everyone.  Today I have a quick tip on how not to have a white page to sit and stare at when you go into your studio to do some art journaling.  I know that all that white space can cause some stress.  Where to start?  What medium to lay down?  How to get from point A to point B, etc. etc.  First, you start with a Basically Bare Art Journal. Any one of our three sizes will work.  They are made with watercolor paper and are perfect for this application.

What I do is create what I call a Excess Paint Journal.  It’s where I put all my leftover paint, mop up any sprays or mists, stamp my inked stamps until they are clean, clean off dirty stencils, etc.  It’s easy to do and you can make some wonderful backgrounds.

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On these pages, I just brushed on or mopped up excess paint and mists.  You can see on the right where I slid in a dirty stencil, closed the journal, and allowed the watercolor paper to soak up the excess spray that were on them.  Look closely and you can see some stamping where I cleaned off some stamps.

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More pages.  The one on the left is where I practiced some stamping and smeared on a bunch of excess paint I had on my craft mat.  The one on the right is where I had a bunch of excess tinted texture paste and used it to stencil over some pages that already had some mists on them.

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And yep, you can great some beautiful journal pages with those scrap pages you created.  The background was created over a period of time just by adding excess paint, texture paste, and wet stencils.  All I did was add a few fussy-cut stamped images, a sentiment, and highlighted random areas with white and black ink.  Having the background already done made this project come together quickly.  And there was no stress from staring at a white piece of paper.

Looking for Basically Bare products?  Just go to our Website and sign up for an account (you’ll need an account to view pricing).  And yes, we do sell at retail.

Basically Bare 5×7 Art Journal
Basically Bare 6×9 Art Journal
Basically Bare 8×11 Art Journal
Art Anthology Velvet – various
Art Anthology Sorbet – various
Art Anthology Colorations – various
Art Anthology Stencils – various

Until later………..

2015-07-04 11.58.00

Journal Cover Fun

Hi everyone!   I wanted to share some of the different ways I’ve decorated the covers of my Basically Bare Art Journals.

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This is the front and back of one of my 6×9 watercolor journals.

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I’m working on creating random backgrounds by adding any paint, mists, stencils, stamps, etc., that I might be trying or have left over after a project.  I’m getting some interesting backgrounds to use as future journal pages whenever I turn this into a true art journal.

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This is the front and back of one of my 5×7 watercolor journals.

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I’m already using it as an art journal.

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And these are the inside covers of the above journal.

What have YOU done in your journal lately?  Do you use it to note special events in your life or as a daily diary?  Maybe you use it as I do as either a way to create a specific project or as a place to put all your excess paint left on your craft mat after a project.  Whatever you do with them, art journals are all about YOU.

Looking for Basically Bare products?  Just go to our Website and sign up for an account (you’ll need an account to view pricing).  And yes, we do sell at retail.

Basically Bare 5×7 Art Journal
Basically Bare 6×9 Art Journal

Until later………..