Creative Space

Vintage Vials for Altered Art

SCORE: $5 for this box of over 100 vintage pigment powder vials at an indoor community tag sale.  So excited to use them in matchboxes and on other altered art projects.

I’m trying to get adjusted to a new job and some other changes I’ve made,  Can’t wait to get back to art journaling and creating.  I’ve missed it terribly.  My outlook couldn’t be brighter than what it is and I think genuine and real joy is up ahead and right around the corner.

Vintage Vials for Altered Art: Junquemail Contessa

Vintage Vials for Altered Art: Junquemail Contessa


My mini art studio.

Pretty sure this little set up will work great.  Love the sunshine right next to the table and the only supplies I have (except for 2 tubs of fabric/textile art supplies under my bed) are all contained within this small space.  It has to work, seriously, because this is the third time I have tried to get an art space right in this house.

I went through 10 years of supplies and ended up getting rid of over 3/4 of my stash.  Nothing left in the bedroom or hallway closet.  2 friends and 1 sister raiding the stash and 3 trips to Goodwill got it all out of the house.  I still have plenty left for my many interests: Art Journaling, Artist Trading Cards, Mail Art, Encaustics, Textile Art, Needlework, Book Binding and Bead Making.

It was an easy task to accomplish as I have a tendency to use the same stuff over and over again and had a fairly good idea how much space I would have left after keeping all of the essentials.  It was also easy because I finally got to the point I was so tired of digging to find stuff I needed.  Sitting down on my bedroom floor going through tons of boxes, containers, bags and drawers was exactly what I needed right now as it kept my mind occupied.  I haven’t felt like myself in a long time.  I can’t tell you how many times I started a page or project and just froze.  So many things in my life seem off kilter.  I decided that maybe it’s time to seek some professional help and try to get myself all figured out (if that’s possible).

But back to my little mini studio in the sunshine…..

Here it is:

Mini Art Studio - Junquemail Contessa

Mini Art Studio – Junquemail Contessa

I took all of my stamps out of their packaging, got rid of a ton I will never use and tossed the keepers into the little rolling table.  The stamps I kept were the ones that work great for backgrounds.

Studio Storage Stamps - Junquemail Contessa

Here’s a close up of what I decided to keep within easy reach on my working table:

Studio Storage Table - Junqemail Contessa

And here is how I keep some of my ephemera within sight.  I organized them mostly by manufacturer but some are organized by theme and size.

Studio Storage - Junquemail Contessa

If you want a peek into some of the supplies I knew I absolutely had to keep, here’s a link to my “Can’t Create Without” Pinterest Page.

Thanks for stopping by for the tour, hopefully this will be the last one for a long long long time. xoxo

$5.00 Journalmobile

Unless I have some music on, it is really really quiet in my closet studio.  That is a great thing most of the time.  Other times, it’s lonely.

I found a solution to bust me out of solitary confinement:  $5.00 vintage typewriter stand I scored at a yard sale this morning.  It’s going to be great…rolling my journal-mobile out, working in my journal while watching tv and spending time with the family in the living room.  Love that it holds my crate of supplies on the bottom, the top can expand for a little more work space and it has wheels!  🙂  Also, when I am not using it, it fits underneath the table in my closet studio, it doesn’t take up any of my standing room.


After I took my dad home, following a morning of “junking” and donuts with coffee, I had every intention of coming home and getting a bit creative.  I had put all of today’s findings away when thunderstorms made their way into our area and it suddenly felt like the perfect time to nap.  Cysco agreed….

Sweet dreams, friends. xoxo


Journaling Kit

Put together a small case of journaling supplies to use until we get moved and unpacked.  We are waiting for the tenants of the house we are moving into to close on their house and move so we can move in.  We have heard it could be as soon as this week or as late as July 15th.  I didn’t get in as much packing today as I wanted to, this medication is kicking my arse.  Doc said give it a few more days…..I am beginning to feel like a lab rat…(insert a mini pout here.)

I included some small paint tubes that I cleaned out and filled with matte gel, gesso and tacky glue.  A few neutral colors of craft paint.  Two markers, my scissors, small tape runner, Shimmer Mists and Smooch Sprays, a few embellishments, Tim Holtz cardstock packs and a washi tape sampler.  A few other odds and ends….definitely my colored pencils and pre-made background pages.  They all fit nicely in a Modella make-up case I found at Goodwill.

I know I forgot a few things I consider essentials, but will take this as an opportunity to try to work with less…which will require a bit of creativity and imagination…wish me luck.

Words, colors and images are not enough…..

To express the relief I feel.  To express how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  To express the worries that are no more. To express the gratitude I have for the prayers and good vibes and words of support and encouragement.  Right here, right now is an amazing place to be.

I thought I could express my emotions in my art journal but I’m speechless.  Not in a bad way.  In a good overwhelmed kinda way.

No Words



Art Journaling Supplies (Part Two)

Part 2 of my favorite art journaling/mixed media supplies…..

Decorative Paper:  

This is all I have for decorative paper.  The variety of colors and themes in these stacks are all I really need.  I did have three rolling carts filled to the brim with paper, but realized these were the papers I kept coming back to over and over again.  May not be the trendy paper everyone is going for now, but you really don’t notice when it’s covered in layers of gesso, paint and spray mist.

Please, please, please MME…come out with another one or two Lost and Found stacks. 🙂

AS - Decorative Paper


Other than a package of kraft cardstock and an off-white pack, this is all I have.  If I need cardstock in colors other than what  I have, I usually make my own with the off white cardstock by either misting or painting it.

Love the texture of these and the results from running them through a Big Shot with embossing folders truly is the best of any cardstock I have tried.  Since I usually work on smaller projects, I just get the 4.25×5.5 cardstock stacks.

AS - Cardstock


Beautiful colors, interesting patterns and a variety of fabrics and laces.  This is about 1/4 of what I had before but purged down to what I could fit in this bin.

AS - Ribbons

Beeswax :

Mainly for artist trading cards using it to layer elements  to give it an interesting look and feel.

AS Beeswax


For backgrounds and elements on journaling pages and artist trading cards.  I stay away from themed stamps, opting for border and image stamps that can be used on any page, tag or ATC.  I also like stamping into a thin layer of gesso or modeling paste for added texture on a project.

AS Stamps

Stickers, die cuts and journaling spots:

These are the only things I buy themed.  Layering them on pages and ATC’s and tags.  Clustering has been a favorite technique of mine lately.

AS - Elements

Other supplies that I use frequently include:


Muslin and Canvas – cut into strips to be used as trim.  Cut into shapes to be used as elements.  Handmade flowers using rolled fabric. Can be misted or dyed to color coordinate with any project.

Folk Art Metallic Paint in Pearl:

You can colorize it using other craft paint, glimmer mist, glimmer glam, glimmer glaze and reinkers.

Books and Dictionaries:

Images and Text for collage.

Baby Wipes:

To wipe down liquid mediums and paints on pages and also for cleaning.

Pens and Markers:

1 Copic Wide Marker in Black and 1 Wide Colorless Blender (To blend the black)

One TH Fillable Alcohol Ink Pen in Black and One with Colorless Blender (For Alcohol Inks)

1 Prismacolor Marker in Black and One Colorless Blender (To blend my Prismacolor Pencils)

1 Sharpie Poster Paint Marker in White.

I use the Inkssentials Craft Nibs with replacement nibs to use as customized markers using ink, mist, alcohol inks and thinned out paint.

When I first started in scrapbooking, before I switched to mixed media, I bought everything I thought I should….essentially what everyone else was buying.  I had 3D stickers, tons of  tools I never used, paper stacks that sat unused.  I wasted so much money on stuff that I didn’t use because it wasn’t my style, colors or was too themed.

Now, I use the heck out of what I have, love what I have and seek out new techniques using what I have on hand.  For me, less is more.   I found my style, know the mediums and supplies that I truly enjoy using and have saved money and space in my tiny studio.

Not too many items on my wish list:  Caran D’ Ache Neocolors, Faber Castell Gelatos and Watercolor Pencils.

Thanks for reading.  Love and Light to You!