Tag Archives: art journal backgrounds

Weed Barrier Art Journal Background

When the temperature drops in the winter, “cold” is a relative term. In the Sonoran desert, if it drops to freezing, our vegetation starts to die. Some succulents suffer below 40 degrees F, but when it gets below freezing, things get serious. Tonight will dip into the low- to mid-20s, and if that happens, I will lose most of the cactus, succulents, natal plums, Red Honeysuckle, desert bird of paradise, blue agave and aloes. The citrus trees and fig may survive. Last time it was 29 degrees, I lost chunks of cactus and shrubs.

weedblockIn search of freeze cloth, I went to several places but no luck. Stores don’t stock a lot of it, so it sells out quickly when it gets cold. Since I couldn’t find any, I settled for weed barrier. It was a non-woven fiber, allows some sun to penetrate (great since I have to leave it up for the next four days), and I spent most of the afternoon wrapping cactus and shrubs.

After I was done, I brought the end of the 50-ft roll of weed barrier inside. I cut off a piece and took a look at it. Light cool-gray, light weight, hmmm. it would make a good background for a journal page. Glue will glop it up, so I decided to use fusible webbing to attach it to a free-standing journal page of 140-lb watercolor paper.

Tomorrow, I’m getting some black Misty-Fuse for decoration, but for tonight, I was happy with the result. I’ll also check to see what it takes to write on it. It’s pretty smooth, but it will need a brush or heavy pen to deal with the fibers.

Stay tuned for step two!

–Quinn McDonald has completed the first five chapters of the inner hero book. Three more to go!


Bubble Background Tutorial

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You may remember bubble backgrounds from elementary school. It’s fun, satisfyingly messy and gives consistently good results. I can be done on almost any paper, although thick, uncoated stock works best. Here is the step-by-step for the Grown-Up Artist version … Continue reading


Sand Castle Journal Page

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Now that it’s summer, wouldn’t it be great to build a sand castle? Don’t want to get gritty? Build a castle in your journal instead, with ink and a stencil. Use it as a background, or work it into a … Continue reading

Art Journaling with Security Papers

Security envelopes are printed in different patterns.

Security papers are found in envelopes to hide the contents of the envelope. Years ago, envelopes were lined with tissue papers, now they simply have a printed pattern. For years I thought the patterns were all the same, but recently, when I was opening a lot of bills (sigh), I noticed the printed patterns varied from envelope to envelope.

Here’s a scan of a lot of patterns. I think they’ll make great backgrounds for journal pages. Some are quite dark and distracting, others are a little paler. Wonder if I can mix prints?

–Quinn McDonald is a raw-art journaler whose book, Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art will be published by North Light Craft Books in June, 2011.