Visual Journal Page 14: Travel by Balloon

Visual Journal Page 14-Travel by Balloon

One day while on one of my random magazine image hunts, I discovered this picture of a beautiful, tropical location. I immediately felt envy towards the photographer who snapped the picture. At some point they were in this location, experiencing this sunset, taking in the smell of the ocean, changing colors, and likely warm, humid, tropical air.

When I discovered this image I had absolutely no plan for it. I simply felt drawn to it, which was enough to prompt me to tear it out and stow it away in my visual journal folder. A few months, possibly a year later during another fit of flipping through magazines on the hunt for interesting images I found the image of the blond hair, yellow bathing suit clad, balloon floating woman. Once again I felt a sense of envy and longing wash over me. I desperately wanted an excuse to wear a bathing suit, sit on a beach, and relax. In the midst of another chaotic school year I longed for the simplicity of beach life. In addition, I was struck by the balloon and the idea of traveling to my beach destination in an equally exciting fashion, by balloon.

As I began cutting out the image I remembered my discovery of the tropical location I longed to see. I dug through my visual journal folder until I rediscovered the beautiful scene. In my mind these two completely unrelated images were meant to go together. I want to travel to exotic locations… and I want to get there by balloon.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Book pages
  • Bleeding tissue paper


This visual journal page was a long time in the making because I needed these two images to come together to complete it. When I finally found their matches, I began piecing it together. I started by gluing the beach scene to the right side page using rubber cement. It wasn’t quite large enough to fill the page, so to fill the space I decided to overlap ripped out book pages and strips of bleeding tissue paper. I glued the tissue paper first, then place the book pages on top to show just a sliver of the green tissue paper peeking from underneath.

I decided to include the balloon model on the left page, rather than overlap the two images, because I wanted it to seem as though she was still in the process of traveling to the tropical location. When I cut out the image I made sure to cut right up to the edge of the model and balloon, to give it a clean look. Once the image was placed, I began filling the space around it with ripped up book pages and the same green bleeding tissue paper. By including the same colors and book pages on both pages, it helped tie them together despite the images being separated.

As I was filling the background, I decided to plan ahead and leave space around the model and balloon. I did this to create an area I could write text and make it feel cohesive with the collage, not an after thought. I used a skinny sharpie to write the text and made sure to vary the height and width to fully fill the space I left.


Create a visual journal page about your dream vacation.

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Visual Journal Page 13: Tape

Visual Journal Page 13-Tape

Our first home is what you would call “move in ready.” The previous owners renovated, updated, and painted every room using nice shades of neutral.

While house shopping it was nice to walk into a space I could visualize myself in. There was no off putting color, family pictures, or personal mementos to distract me from seeing it as my future home. This made me fall in love with the house from the get go and made move in extremely easy.

Neutral goes with everything. While some rooms weren’t perfectly painted to match my decor, there was no immediate need for a fresh coat of paint. This allowed my focus to be on organizing and finding new spaces for my much beloved furniture and artwork. However, after a few months, the neutral tones began to get to me.

It started with the kitchen. I decided I wanted a nice bold color, and tried out many shades of green until Nick found the perfect color with the perfect name, “recycled glass.” Read about that process via visual journal inspiration here. Next, I moved to the dining room, which turned from a lovely light gray to a very bright turquoise. After the dining room I moved to the “office” space and converted the gray-blue to a light green. I then tackled our bedroom.

I tend to be attracted to bright, bold, and graphic sprinkled with a layer of old, antique, and peely in interior design. Sometimes this combination works in my favor and other times it is a disaster. Because of my past experiences, I was worried about my latest venture. I wanted to paint five wide, horizontal stripes in my bedroom. Not only was the design bold, but I wanted to use a dark gray and a light gray, a strong contrast, in a small space with very odd angles. Our bedroom is essentially the attic, which means the roof line invades both our master bedroom and bathroom spaces. It was either going to look beautiful and impressive or like a fun house.

I spent an entire weekend measuring, marking, taping, painting, watching paint dry, re-taping, painting, and finally the big reveal.

I was instantly in love. The stripes highlighted the interesting architecture in our room without making me feel like I was at a carnival. It was a bold design, but the soft neutrals complimented it well. It felt like a spa, a place to relax, and I loved it.

What was most astonishing about the entire process was the amount of blue painters tape it required to create the stripes. I was left with a ball of blue tape that could barely fit into my kitchen trashcan. As I packed up my painting supplies and disposed of the mess, that giant ball of blue tape almost felt like a trophy, a representation of my hard work that weekend.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Wall paint


To create this visual journal page I decided to recreate the stripe pattern in my visual journal using the actual wall paint I used. I once again took the time to measure and mark out stripes, and filled them in with shades of gray. After completing the background I began brainstorming ways I could convey the time and energy it took to paint those stripes, and my mind kept drifting back to the giant ball of painters tape. I decided I needed to recreate it using colored pencil.

I first used pencil to sketch out the tape shape, a single stripe running across the top to create a space to write, and a large ball of tape. I made sure to twist and intertwine my lines to make it look more three dimensional. I used various shades of blue to create a sense of depth in the tape. I started with darker shades, filling in color where the tape lines overlap. I slowly build up lighter and lighter blues, and finally added white to areas that needed bright highlights.

I cut out my tape drawing and used rubber cement to glue it to the page. I used sharpie to write “tape” to finish the look.


Create a visual journal project about your most recent DIY project.

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DIY Shower Decor Project: Fabric Tassel Banner


To prepare for my brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law’s upcoming nuptials, Nick and I hosted a couples shower towards the end of summer. I love all the crafty projects that come along with hosting events, and the fabric tassel banner is one of my new favorites. See below for supplies and step by step instructions on how to make your own!

Tassle Banner Supplies

The supply list for this project is fairly short, which I love. All you need are a few different fabric patterns, scissors, twine or string, and something to use to hang it (tape, pins, etc.). I got a 1/4 yard of fabric for each fabric, except the burlap which I got a 1/2 a yard of. I ended up using burlap elsewhere for decor, so I estimate I used around a 1/4 of it for this project.


When I host bridal showers, I always try to align with the wedding colors. Sarah and Dan had a neutral color palette for their wedding, so I went with neutral colors for their fabric tassels. Rather than getting larger quantities of 1 or 2 fabrics, I got small quantities of 5 different fabric patterns. I wanted somewhat of a color scale, going from light to dark, white to gray to brown. I chose subtle colors and patterns, which fit with the rest of the shower decor and their wedding decor.

Before I started making the tassels I cut each piece of fabric into four equals parts. I ended it up cutting the burlap into slightly smaller parts, and ended up with five. I wanted to start and end with the burlap, and I liked having an odd number mixed in with all the even number tassels. Because the burlap is so thick, you can easily cut less of it and get an equally full looking fabric tassel.

After I cut the fabric up, I laid out the patterns and planned out the sequence of them.


Once I had the fabric ready to go, I began cutting them as if I were making fringe. First, I folded each piece of fabric in half. Next, I cut vertical strips, almost all the way to the fold line, but stopping about an inch before I hit it. DSC_2846

“Fringe” all your sections of fabric, then un-fold them and lay them flat.


Next, starting from one edge of the fabric, start rolling the fabric. If you have a pattern, make sure the pattern ends up on the outside.


After the fabric is rolled up, fold it in half, and tie the top with a piece of string or twine to hold it in place. Leave a loop at the top big enough to put string through it in order to hang it.


Continue rolling, folding, tying off, and stringing your fabric tassels until they are all finished. As you thread them onto the twine or string, make sure you maintain the fabric sequence, if you planned one.


If you want your fabric tassels spread out from one another when it is hung, use the excess string from tying off the loop of the tassel to tie the tassel to the string it is hung on. I placed about an inch of space between each of my fabric tassels. If you skip this step, you may have to make more tassels to create a full look. They tend to bunch together when the string is hung up.


Here is another recent fabric tassel banner I made for a friend’s bridal shower. Rather than keeping it all neutral, I introduced a dark navy color to match her wedding colors. The fireplace was polished off with tea lights in mason jars and their initials, found for just a few dollars each at Hobby Lobby, painted gold.

Tassle Banner

Hang your fabric tassel banner up and enjoy the fruits of your labor! I love the vintage feel it creates. I think it automatically gives any room a sense of festivity after it’s hung.

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DIY Shower Craft Project: Personalized Photo Banners

Hanging Phot Banners

It has been a summer of showers. Really, it has been a few years of showers, but I don’t mind because I love hosting them and having the opportunity to celebrate my nearest and dearest. Most recently, I threw a shower for my newest sister-in-law, a couples shower cook out. It was non-traditional, filled with grilled meats, yard games, and a lot of booze, one of the more fun showers I have hosted. Although it was non-traditional, I still wanted a shower feel with sweet decorations and personal touches. These photo banners are one of the many crafts I completed for the big day, find out how I did it below!

Photo Banner Supplies

In order to create the banner you have to pick up a few supplies:

  1. Either cut out a banner shape from cardboard or thick card stock or purchase a pre-made set from your local arts and crafts store. I opted for option B, it saved me time, and at 50% off, it only cost a few extra dollars.
  2. Scissors to cut out your pictures and trim the string.
  3. A paintbrush to use to apply Mod Podge
  4. Picture print outs. Since the photo banners were going to hang in doorways I printed enough to do them front and back. I highly recommend printing on heavier paper. I had issues with the standard printer paper bubbling and trying to rip when I painted them with Mod Podge.
  5. Mod Podge or some type of adhesive.
  6. String, twine, yarn, hemp, whatever look you likes best to string the banner sections together.


Step one: First thing you have to do is pick up the supplies. All of these items can be found at your local arts and crafts store.

Step two: Print out your pictures. size them all to the backing size, mine were 5″x8″ and 4″x6.” As I mentioned above, I recommend using a heavier paper and a high quality printer if you have access to one. I used my standard printer and standard printer paper, and had a few issues come up. Despite some bubbled images, once hung, they looked great.
Step 3

Step three: Trace the banner shape onto the picture print out, and trim as needed. Typically, I recommend doing this on the back of the image, to prevent pencil marks showing up on the front, but with this project I needed to see if any part of their faces were caught in the triangle cut out. Erase visible pencil marks when you are finished.

Step 4

Step four: Lay the image on top of the banner section, and make sure everything lines up. Use a pencil, pen, or sharp tool to punch holes through the picture, and the banner piece if holes aren’t already punched. Since mine were pre-made, the holes were pre-punched.

Step 5

Step five: Coat the back of the picture with Mod Podge (or a type of adhesive) and press it to the banner backing. I chose to coat the front with Mod Podge to give it a more polished look. This picture shows first hand the bubbling I experienced with a few images. Be as gentle as you can when applying the Mod Podge. If a section does bubble, lightly press it down. It is better to leave it alone, once it dries, you couldn’t tell unless you were close up.

Step six: Allow all the pieces to dry.

Step seven: Add string to connect all the sections together, leave extra on either side to hang them up.


Tie your completed banners up, use tape to tack them to walls, or place the ends under heavy objects. I completed four in total, and hung them in the doorways of my front and back door as well as the opening between my kitchen, living room, and dining room. Every banner was double sided, allowing me to include a wide range of pictures of the couple, from formal engagement pictures to Instagram snapshots.

This project didn’t take longer than an hour and it added a personal touch to the shower.

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Visual Journal Page 12: Fall

Visual Journal Page 12-Fall

I love every season of the year, but my favorite has to be fall. I have made many past visual journal pages about fall. I can’t help but be inspired by the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, crisp smells, the cool twinge that appears in the air.

Nick and I are incredibly lucky to have a massive, old ginkgo tree in front of our house. Every fall it reminds me why I love the season so much. I watch as the fan shaped leaves transition from green to yellow. Sometimes it feels like it happens overnight. I wake up in the morning to a beaming, glowing tree, covered in golden yellow leaves.

This ginkgo tree has not only inspired my visual journal, but also my artwork. Every year I find myself in my front yard, crawling around on my hands and knees, collecting the best specimens of fall ginkgo leaves. I press them in my sketchbooks, allow them to dry, then layer them into my encaustic works of art. I love having this piece of the year captured forever, preserved between layers of paper and wax.

Check out last year’s fall post here. Check out a few of my ginkgo inspired works of art here.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie


This visual journal page was fairly simple to make. I have to admit, it isn’t one of my favorites. I aimed for simple in order to put focus on the leaves, but I think I missed the mark in portraying the beauty of the leaves. Although it isn’t the page I am post proud of, I still wanted to share the image, story, and process. After all, both our failures and successes are all important steps in the learning and creating process.

I started by sketching out the ginkgo leaf shapes on watercolor paper. I wanted them to transition from large to small, to look almost like a single leaf floating in the wind, moving away from the viewer. Once I had the outline roughly (and lightly) drawn out, I began adding color with watercolor pencils. I wanted a sense of fluidity to the leaves, but I still wanted them to be defined. The watercolor pencil was a good solution, because it allowed me to emphasize certain areas, while allowing other areas to be loose.

After I marked out color, I went in with a wet paintbrush, painted over the colored edges, and moved the pigment toward the center of the leaves. I kept going back and forth between adding color with the pencil, and smoothing it out with the water. I did hit points here and there where I would have to be careful with the damp surface. The tip of the watercolor pencil would periodically want to melt into the water, and add a large, dark spot. It is always best to start light and build color to avoid this.

After getting a base of color, I allowed my leaves to dry. I added more detail, various shades of yellows and oranges with the pencils, and added more water. I kept the process going until I was satisfied. Once the leaves dried for the final time, I cut them out using scissors. I used rubber cement to glue them in the book.

Once I finished placing and gluing the leaves, I took a step back, and decided it still looked empty. To try to fill space I added “fall” with sharpie and a few watercolor pencil lines bled out underneath the text. I decided I was satisfied and stopped. Looking back, I still think the page looks incomplete. I haven’t yet decided how to improve it, and until I figure that out, it will stay as is.


Create a visual journal page about your favorite season. Try out your own set of watercolor pencils in the page.

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