Anatomy of a Page – How I Decide What’s Next

angel page explAfter not having any creative flow due to the “crud” last week I was excited to get back to my altered book. Here’s how I decide what to do next on my page. There are parts I really like and some I don’t – that will happen on most of your pages. That’s just how it goes so practice looking at your favorite parts.

This is a great exercise in noticing where your focus it – does it go to the positive parts or does your inner judge come out? If you can start here to focus on your “good stuff” then it will be easier to calm that inner judge that seems to be lurking around. This is a type of mindfulness – practice bringing your attention back to the moment and not get sucked into your internal dialog with your judge & victim parts.

imageI got some small spray inks to try them for the background. I like them but they are really messy. Spray in a box, on newspaper, or outside.

I got some that shimmer and they are very silvery. It’s pretty but hard to see because of the reflection. Solid colors may be easier to work on top of.

I sprayed it all over for background color – easy & fast.

imageimageI’ve had issues with stencils that are very detailed so I got really small daubers! I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out!

If you have a detailed stencil use a small dauber and just a little paint. You may have to go over it several times with layers of paint, but it won’t squish under your stencil because there’s too much paint.

imagePut your dauber in the paint and pounce it on your pallet to get the excess off before you go to your stencil. It worked really good.



imageHere’s the stencil on the outer side of the left page. When you start your page, think of where you want to start your focus.

You can create a border around both pages, one page, or have your design start in the middle of the page spread.

Here’s some ideas for layouts:

Lay out of focal designs of page spreadDownload Lay out of focal designs of page spread



imageHere’s another stencil I wanted to use as a border.

I used the same dauber and this time it was too big.


I saw that I had pounced off the edge – so I made it part of the design.


Incorporating your “mistakes” into your page can really look cool – just go with it.

imageTo help the design look like I did it on purpose, I made circles with the dauber at the top and bottom of the page. I used a white gel pen to draw in the triangles, dot the over flow areas, and make accents on the circles.

White gel pens on dark areas are awesome. The pens are finicky and they dry out quickly. Just be patient with them and buy them in pairs so you have a backup.

I also used a lime green gel pen to make swirls and outline the green stencil.







imageNow I have a border so I’ll pick out collage elements.

I didn’t have any theme in mind when I did this and I grabbed the first thing I picked up.




imageI’ve saved this magazine page for several years and this was the time to use it. The angel project is a group of artists that paint large cement angels and display them.

I found more angel collage pictures in my stash and added those.

imageI tried outlining the photos and doodling but the shimmery spray was just too much to see the black very good.





imageI really liked how the white gel pen looked on the dark purple paint so I painted some circles that I could write on.

I didn’t really feel like writing a lot on this page so the circles gave me just enough room to write a little.



Angel pageI drew the triangle design in the one purple shape and wrote in my thanks. Glued in a pic of my Mom & me, and then wrote in both my mom & her dad’s names because they are both my angels.

That’s how I do my pages 1)Background 2)Focal design 3)Doodles 4)other elements in layers 5)more doodles

You don’t have to finish a page all at once – go back to it as you come up with ideas for it.




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