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Old 10-27-2021, 01:03 PM   #1  
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Default Ideas for focal points?

I've been wanting to make some art journal pages recently after a while away from creating, but I find myself stuck for ideas of focal points to use without resorting to buying more products. I'm fine with creating backgrounds (in fact I've got four or five ready to go), but I need some focal point inspiration beyond the ubiquitous butterflies, lol. Any suggestions? What's your go-to for non-purchased focal points?
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:59 PM   #2  
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Magazines, paper napkins, tissue paper, fabric, free clip art and digital stamps, junk mail, etc.
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Old 10-28-2021, 02:34 AM   #3  
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This time of year, how about collecting some fallen leaves with interesting shapes and colours? If you’re not in a rush to use them you could press in the traditional way or if you’re impatient, use the microwave method (Google for “microwave leaf pressing” if you need instructions). I’ve “stamped” with leaves in the past too - press the leaf into ink or paint and then transfer the colour to your project just by pressing with your fingers. Ivy leaves worked well for me.

If vintage might appeal, somewhere like The Graphics Fairy has loads of free printables.
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:01 AM   #4  
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I’ve come back to say “food packaging”! It came to mind because I’ve just finished a box of dark chocolate ginger cookies and there’s a big picture (around two and a half inches diameter at a guess) on the box that could be cut out for use on a paper craft project. Canned goods here usually have paper labels that can be peeled off the can, some of those might provide good images - I’m guessing the same applies your side of the Pond. We sometimes get cheese (Brie or Camembert) in a round box made of thin wood with a design that’s made to look like it’s burned in (I think it’s actually just printed on). The wood’s thicker than paper but flat enough it could make a good element on a journal page.
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:05 PM   #5  
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Thank you Scrapjanny and Joanne! Those are some great ideas. I could really go for a fall-themed page right now, so I will keep my eye out for some pretty leaves!

I live in a fairly small town with no art/craft stores and I've been through the dollar store a million times looking for napkins I like, but so far no luck, lol. So I'm grateful for your suggestions!
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:08 AM   #6  
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I thought of a few more: wrapping paper and scrapbook paper.
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Old 10-29-2021, 05:16 PM   #7  
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I do use scraps of scrapbooking paper a lot. I haven't done any scrapbooking in years, but I still have too much paper left over to buy newer, prettier packs yet, lol! I also recently was given a stack of seed paper that apparently doesn't germinate, so I'm playing around with ways to incorporate that, since it doesn't take water very well.
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Old 11-02-2021, 11:47 AM   #8  
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Many people fake wood blocking with carving potatoes. You could make basic shapes or primitives, or more if you are talented.

Your fingerprints. Handprint is good with an inspirational quote. Have you done something in your life you are proud of? Do you have a goal? Slap that hand down and make a reference to it!

Trace around stuff you have.

Make stencils if you have dies with a big image. Or just cut them by hand.

This time of year you could cut paper snowflakes. Not just for kids. Look up fancy ones online.

Draw a flock of birds. They are just wide Vs.

Do you have a lightbox? You can do dry embossing with an image.
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Old 11-02-2021, 01:15 PM   #9  
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If you use digital stamps you can size them as needed. You will just need to fussy-cut them for your page, but then you can get many many images in many many styles from cute to zany to serious. You can also get free clipart that works the same as digis.

And, even if your stamps are too small to command the page, you may be able to group some to make an effective focal point so you shouldn't count them out either. Good luck.
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Old 11-02-2021, 05:54 PM   #10  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wavejumperForums at Splitcoaststampers
Many people fake wood blocking with carving potatoes. You could make basic shapes or primitives, or more if you are talented.

Your fingerprints. Handprint is good with an inspirational quote. Have you done something in your life you are proud of? Do you have a goal? Slap that hand down and make a reference to it!

Trace around stuff you have.

Make stencils if you have dies with a big image. Or just cut them by hand.

This time of year you could cut paper snowflakes. Not just for kids. Look up fancy ones online.

Draw a flock of birds. They are just wide Vs.

Do you have a lightbox? You can do dry embossing with an image.
Thanks for all the ideas!

I do have a lightbox. How do you use it to do dry embossing?

Last edited by pippinmctaggart; 11-02-2021 at 05:54 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 11-03-2021, 10:39 PM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pippinmctaggartForums at Splitcoaststampers
Thanks for all the ideas!

I do have a lightbox. How do you use it to do dry embossing?
My question too!
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Old 11-04-2021, 05:38 AM   #12  
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You can also stamp your own images on tissue paper, so it would have that certain look. Just use permanent ink.
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Old 11-04-2021, 06:47 AM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pippinmctaggartForums at Splitcoaststampers
Thanks for all the ideas!

I do have a lightbox. How do you use it to do dry embossing?
You place the brass stencil on top of the lightbox. Then you place your paper on top of the stencil. Then you use an embossing stylus to press the paper into the stencil's openings. Here's a video. It's an old one, but it shows how to do it.
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Old 11-04-2021, 01:26 PM   #14  
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Default Heat embossing your own images

I have used erasable pens as a way to heat emboss images. Just draw, trace or write with it, and then sprinkle with embossing powder, then heat as you normally would. I used to just use this to correct a fudged stamping job. It works!
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Old 11-04-2021, 06:13 PM   #15  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ScrapjannyForums at Splitcoaststampers
You place the brass stencil on top of the lightbox. Then you place your paper on top of the stencil. Then you use an embossing stylus to press the paper into the stencil's openings. Here's a video. It's an old one, but it shows how to do it.
Oh, okay, thanks! I used to do that years ago, but I only had a few brass stencils...come to think of it, I don't even know where they are now, lol! I'll have to take a look for them.
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Old 11-09-2021, 11:24 PM   #16  
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At the moment I'm enjoying making Teesha Moore type art journaled paper dolls in my composition notebook based positivity journal. I use a photo editing app (you can find one for free) to distort my face a little, then add the image to a google doc and print out in black and white, then use food packaging for Dolly's dresses, arms and legs are cut out from women's clothing catalogs and I try to match the sayings to what she wears. You can see samples of Dolly on Flickr here = Zetti-Art Dolls | Flickr
or on my YouTube channel. I have a hashtag #djrpaperdollart. Inspired a YouTube friend to make her own version -- Little Patty! We've been having a lot of fun with it. Teesha Moore, however, creates heads for her dolls using catalog model's faces and then adding in larger eyes or mouths to create a distorted face. I get gobs of women's clothing catalogs in the mail for free, but I used to get my clothing catalogs and magazines at the library. They had a box out in the entry way for old magazines that they gave away. Food packaging from cans, seed packets, jar labels, tea boxes, etc. cut into a upside down U make doll dresses. I make the backgrounds with a gelli-plate, but you could water-color or ink a background fairly easily or use up those scraps of scrapbook paper into serendipity paper. I never had a daughter, so have been having fun dressing my Dolly up. smile!
If I should ever run out of arms and legs from catalogs, I do have rubber stamps to create my own. Dyan Reaveley also has rubber stamps for her type of dolls.
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Old 11-10-2021, 01:56 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rush'd LadyForums at Splitcoaststampers
At the moment I'm enjoying making Teesha Moore type art journaled paper dolls in my composition notebook based positivity journal. I use a photo editing app (you can find one for free) to distort my face a little, then add the image to a google doc and print out in black and white, then use food packaging for Dolly's dresses, arms and legs are cut out from women's clothing catalogs and I try to match the sayings to what she wears. You can see samples of Dolly on Flickr here = Zetti-Art Dolls | Flickr
or on my YouTube channel. I have a hashtag #djrpaperdollart. Inspired a YouTube friend to make her own version -- Little Patty! We've been having a lot of fun with it. Teesha Moore, however, creates heads for her dolls using catalog model's faces and then adding in larger eyes or mouths to create a distorted face. I get gobs of women's clothing catalogs in the mail for free, but I used to get my clothing catalogs and magazines at the library. They had a box out in the entry way for old magazines that they gave away. Food packaging from cans, seed packets, jar labels, tea boxes, etc. cut into a upside down U make doll dresses. I make the backgrounds with a gelli-plate, but you could water-color or ink a background fairly easily or use up those scraps of scrapbook paper into serendipity paper. I never had a daughter, so have been having fun dressing my Dolly up. smile!
If I should ever run out of arms and legs from catalogs, I do have rubber stamps to create my own. Dyan Reaveley also has rubber stamps for her type of dolls.
Your doll journal is so fun. TFS.
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Old 11-10-2021, 05:54 PM   #18  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rush'd LadyForums at Splitcoaststampers
At the moment I'm enjoying making Teesha Moore type art journaled paper dolls in my composition notebook based positivity journal. I use a photo editing app (you can find one for free) to distort my face a little, then add the image to a google doc and print out in black and white, then use food packaging for Dolly's dresses, arms and legs are cut out from women's clothing catalogs and I try to match the sayings to what she wears. You can see samples of Dolly on Flickr here = Zetti-Art Dolls | Flickr
or on my YouTube channel. I have a hashtag #djrpaperdollart. Inspired a YouTube friend to make her own version -- Little Patty! We've been having a lot of fun with it. Teesha Moore, however, creates heads for her dolls using catalog model's faces and then adding in larger eyes or mouths to create a distorted face. I get gobs of women's clothing catalogs in the mail for free, but I used to get my clothing catalogs and magazines at the library. They had a box out in the entry way for old magazines that they gave away. Food packaging from cans, seed packets, jar labels, tea boxes, etc. cut into a upside down U make doll dresses. I make the backgrounds with a gelli-plate, but you could water-color or ink a background fairly easily or use up those scraps of scrapbook paper into serendipity paper. I never had a daughter, so have been having fun dressing my Dolly up. smile!
If I should ever run out of arms and legs from catalogs, I do have rubber stamps to create my own. Dyan Reaveley also has rubber stamps for her type of dolls.
Oh, thank you for the idea of checking if my library has any magazines to get rid of! That would be a great source.
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