Author Archives: creativekady

5 Mixed Media Applications For Your Happy Planner


This year I bought myself a Happy Planner. I chose it because I like the disc system that will allow me to add pages. I  planned to add brainstorming pages to keep track of my ideas for this blog and my YouTube channel. I also planned on punching some of my art journal pages and putting it into my planner to inspire me and show off my art. Then I was simply going to use the Happy Planner as a functional planner.  I loved the stickers you could buy and the notion of decorating/creating a theme. But I was NOT going to spend my art budget on those. I had a whole room full of art supplies. Then over the Christmas holidays in some downtime I watched a couple planner spread videos and it happened. I had the thought. ” I can use this” ” I bet this would work” And I was off.

I decided that I would decorate my planner  , but I would challenge myself to use supplies already in my art journaling/mixed media stash . I would also try to use art journaling/mixed media techniques.

Well its been almost 2 months now and I am loving designing my weekly spreads and then using my planner. I’ve made videos of each weekly spread where I promise to include at least one new mixed media supply use or technique.

In this blog I will list 5 of these techniques/ use of materials and link you to the weekly spread video. I’ve put the link to the supplies I used in these 5 Planner Hack ideas .

1.Gelli prints or papers with left over paint cut into sizes of box or strips.

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Select your color scheme and either use double sided tape or glue stick to adhere to page.  I edged the boxes with my Stabilo All Pencil, but you can use Neo Color II or any watercolor pencil. Rub with finger to smudge or activate with a bit of water on a round paint brush.  You can leave these blank or you can print motivational quotes on them with Micron pen, White Uniball Signo or Posca Pens.  If the color on the gelli print is light enough you can plan on it, but if the color is dark or extremely busy it may just be used to add color to your spread.

2.Distress Ink  applied with Ranger Blending tool through a stencil .

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I created a template of the different size squares that I wanted to use by using exacto knife and a sheet of mylar. I punched the template with my Arc Paper Punch ( similar to Happy Planner punch) and keep it in the front of the planner for easy access. I place a stencil under the template and apply the ink. You can use one color or blend multiple colors.  You can easily write over the Distress Ink and if you want you can add doodles on the stencil during the week.

3. Use large stencils .

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I used a large stencil to fill a corner of my planner spread. I used my Dylusions Paints and applied them with the Ranger Blending Tools. I used multiple colors and blended them on the page. The paint does not effect the planner pages and when dry is easy to write on during the planning stage.

4. Stamp  sentiment or picture stamps directly onto the spaces.

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I used black StazOn. Now you can either color them while designing your page or color during the week. I colored mine using my Inktense Pencils. I activated the ink with a bit of water on a small round brush. A water brush would work well for this. The paper of the Happy Planner seems to handle a little bit of water well without buckling or warping. Be sure to test out your planner page with whatever marker or water brush you choose to ensure it doesn’t bleed through or warp.

5.Attach an ATC ( Artist Trading Card) onto each weekly spread.

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Alternatively I am using some pre-done backgrounds that were on ATCs and adding quotes. I have a binder full of inspirational quotes that I found on Pinterest. I typed them up and printed them in various sizes and fonts.

I hope you try some of these on your planner. Subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss upcoming Planner Hacks. 5 more coming next month.


VISIT MY AMAZON STORE- I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories.Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

Items featured in doing these planner hacks

Dylusions Paints

Dylusions set 2

Distress Ink

Distress Ink

Distress Ink

Ranger Blending Tool-

Stabilo All Pencil Black-

Gelli plate –

Stampendous Peacock-




Peacock Feather TCW-

Kite Peacock Feather-

Sakura Gelly Roll Pens Metallic –

Do I Need to Use Gesso? For This Technique You Do

I belong to several Facebook Groups that focus on mixed media and /or art journaling. Predictably every so often someone poses the question about whether they should gesso every page. Answers invariably differ and quite honestly the answer depends completely on what you are creating, what techniques you are using and what effect you want to achieve. So, in a way everyone is right and each person must experiment and decide for themselves.

In my YouTube series Mixed Media Technique Tags I recently focused on the technique where you lift or remove paint through a stencil. It may go by a different name. I believe it originated with Dyan Reaveley and her Dylusions Sprays, but I’d seen it done with Distress Inks as well.The question I wanted to explore was if this technique worked with other color mediums; those that were water soluble and those that are not.

Normally I gesso every page I do. I like how it works. But to be honest I wasn’t always gessoing the tags for the MMTT videos. Since I wanted to ensure the actual technique worked with the various color mediums I did a little experimenting first. I painted half a tag with gesso and then applied each color medium on both the gessoed and non-gessoed sides and proceeded with the technique.

You can check out this Mixed Media Technique Video by clicking on this link

Now for the results.  For each product the left side is ungessoed and the right has a coat of gesso.  Each product went on way easier and smoother on the gessoed side. The technique definitely worked better on the gessoed side for all mediums as well.  Whether you chose to gesso or not as a rule is up to you, but if you want to do this technique I would highly recommend using gesso. The results will be worth it.

Here are the pictorial results.

Inktense Blocks  and Distress Ink


Distress Crayons  and Gelatos/Gel Sticks


Liquitex Basics and Dylusions Paints

There is not much difference here, but with the gesso you did have more working time. img_4268

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Happy Creating


Displaying Your ATCs and ICADS- They’ve Been Framed

I love creating ATCs ( Artist Trading Cards) and ICADs ( Index Card a Day) and over the period of 2 years that I have been doing mixed media I have quite the collection.  I admit it I have a hard time giving away or even trading my little pieces of art. I imagine many of you are just like me , with a growing pile of ATCs , ICADs etc. So what do you do with them?

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Initially I bought baseball card plastic sheets and stored my ATCs in them in a binder. This works well but I found that I didn’t look through it often. And I wanted to see my art,and be inspired by it. My ICADS I hole punched and put on a ring.  This kept them together, but was hard to display and I feel like I damaged my art by punching a hole in it.


One day shortly after we had moved my husband and I got onto the task of hanging pictures. Some of the things we had previously hung no longer appealed or ” fit” our new home. By the end of it, we had a stack of unused frames of various sizes and shapes. This is when I got my idea. Now that I had an actual art studio dedicated to my creativity I wanted to hang some of my creations. I gathered up all the unused frames onto the dining room table and took out all my creations that were not in a journal. Here’s what I came up with.

Now I didn’t do anything fancy, such as get custom matting for them- but you definitely could do this.  Part of my plan was to use what I had without buying anything new. This also meant that I could just get this done and hang the frames without delay or procrastination.

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These two frames that are basically two panes of glass surrounded by wood . I believe they are called “float” picture frames.  These work particularily well since they will fit a variety of sizes of my art.  If I wanted I could paint a background that would go with the selected ICADS/ATCs  and mount the ATCs/ICADs on it. For now I like the look of the wall showing through. Gives it a sort of 3 D effect.

Here are a couple links to similar frames

Wood Float Frame 10X20 –

Wood Float Frame 51/2 X 13 –


This frame had a pre cut mat that was intended to use with 3 5 by 7 photos.  The size of the opening was too big for just one ATC so I paired them up and mounted them on the backing. The matting really makes these ATCs pop. Afterwards, I realized that I could have used foam tape or dots to adhere the ATCs. This little change would set them off even more.


These multi-picture frames come in a variety of orientations, but are the perfect size for either ATCs or ICADs.  I loved that I could use my ICADs that went horizontally as well as vertically in this frame. I simply mounted them on the black background without adding any backing paper. At a later time I could mount them on matt board or get a matt cut. ( My husband purchased a matt cutter when I first got into art. I may have to nudge him to get it out and start using it).

Here are some links to similar frames if interested

Puzzle Collage Picture Frame –

10 Opening Collage –

The best part of having my art in frames is I get to enjoy them in a way I couldn’t before. It inspires me to have my art hanging in my work space. Plus, whenever it strikes my fancy I can change the arrangements putting in other favorites or newer creations.

Have fun “framing” your art.




10 Reasons to Create Your Own Designer Tissue Papers- Mixed Media Technique Tag #1

10 Reasons to Create Your Own Designer Tissue Papers

  1.  Save money.  Who doesn’t want to do that. I’ve always loved the brand name tissue paper, but would not allow myself to spend my art dollars on it. To do this technique you can buy dollar store tissue paper or coffee filters , use backing of napkins , and  pattern paper  from your stash or found at thrift store .
  2. Maximize use of your stamps or all sizes. Many of our stamps are under utilized. This gives us an opportunity to get bang for our art buck. I don’t know about you, but there’s always one or two stamps in a set that doesn’t get much play.  Also, there are stamps that are too small to use on art journal pages but within this technique can shine.  Once you start to play with your stamps you will be surprised with the wonderful results.
  3. Uniqueness. Create something completely unique that can reflect your style or coordinate with  the theme of your page. The possibilities are endless. And unlike purchased ones every tissue page will be different. There will be no repeat pattern.
  4. Portability. Easy to take to “create dates” or when traveling – you can simply take the lightweight tissue paper and not the inks, acrylic blocks, stamps etc.
  5. Saves time. Once you have it in your stash, it cuts the time needed to complete a page. Simply adhere to your page and you’ve got several steps done.
  6. It’s a two-for.  When you apply the tissue paper , you can also add in physical texture by allowing it to wrinkle.
  7. Easy and quick. Once set up to stamp the tissue paper, you can get a lot done in one sitting.
  8. A fun project to do on a create date. Get together with your friends and their stamps and share.
  9. You can stamp with different colors ink; black, brown, blue etc.
  10.  Your designer papers can be used during any stage of creating a page, ICAD, ATC or canvas.

Bonus reason…it truly is fail safe.

Video showing the steps to this technique and some variations can be found at this link.

Here are pictures of my tags using this technique with the summary beside it. You can write your own summary being explicit as you want or copy what I did. Whichever works better for you. The printable for this can be found in a previous blog post.

This one was done on pattern paper. No paint under or on top. Loving the vintage look.

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This tag was done on tissue paper with acrylic paint washed over it.

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This last tag was stamped on napkin liner or backing. Dylusions paints were put on before adhering the paper. The napkin liner gives a “frosted” look that I love.

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I hope you give this technique a try. When you do, please come join the “creationships” in my facebook group allthingsmixedmedia:creativekady and share.

On social media

#creativekady or #mixedmediatechniquetags2017

Next Mixed Media Technique Tag will be in the Texture category and is scheduled to go public on Sunday January 22nd.

Yours Creatively    CreativeKady




Mixed Media Technique Tags ” Let’s Get Started”


I am so very excited to be launching my new series “Mixed Media Technique Tags 2017” . I’ve had this idea for over a year but the timing just never seemed right. With 2017 just around the corner I’ve decided that the time is NOW.  I believe I have enough figured out, but as usual I feel like I’ve jumped from the plane and am sewing the parachute on the way down. Please be patient as some things may not go exactly as I planned and things may be tweaked as we progress. As always I am open to suggestions and ideas from you , my subscribers.

In this series I plan to demonstrate mixed media/art journaling techniques, tips, or tidbits.  Not only will I provide YouTube tutorial showing you the technique and some variations, but also,     ( time and energy permitting)  post a summary of the techniques on my blog as well. Any printables that I create for this series will be in the blog posts so be sure that you have selected the option to be notified of new blog posts.

Why tags? I have found in the past that doing something new on smaller pages, be it a tag, ATC (Artist Trading Card) or ICAD ( Index Card a Day) is very freeing. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to be so overwhelming. It’s not expensive, it’s not big and it doesn’t take long, so the “risk”  and commitment is less.


The goal of the tags is NOT to end up with a finished page. The goal is to  set up a  mixed media/art journal reference tool  that contains samples as well as  a written summary of each technique .  With each technique I plan to make at least one tag. Depending on variations there may be more than one tag. For instance, the salt technique is one technique, but I will make multiple tags using many of my color mediums. After all, we don’t all have the same mediums…nor should we feel pressured to get them all. Maximizing the use of what we have is key. The technique will look slightly different for each medium and I think it would be beneficial to have a snapshot of what each would look like. Plus, on the back of the card ( or on a summary card) we will be able to add comments that will lead to success when we try technique again.

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I have selected six categories to organize all the techniques into. Please go to this link to get more information about this series and get instructions on how to “get ready” for series ( making tags and category tags).

I also want to develop a community of artists that discuss and share. I am hoping people post their technique tags and come to enjoy the “creationships” on my facebook group Allthingsmixedmedia:CreativeKady.

Also, please use #mixedmediatechniquetags2017 or #creativekady when posting or sharing on social media. Once we get going I plan on having challenges where we create pages using MMTT # ___( Mixed Media Technique Tag).

Printables can be found by clicking on these links:  ( if you do not have the font I used on your computer it may look different than mine or the formatting may be off) If this is the case, use the information of the printables to create your own)


One part summary

Two part summary

I look forward to taking this journey with you.  Be sure to select to be notified of upcoming videos/blogs so you will know when they are out. Look for the first technique video early in January.

CreativeKady/Karen Burchill



I Was Just Published- Check It Out

Guess What!?!  I was just published in heART Journal Magazine!



To celebrate heART Journal Magazine has a given me a free issue bonus code to share with others so you can get your free PDF issue of heART Journal Magazine today!

Simply go to shopping cart  then choose the Nov/Dec 2016 Issue and use coupon code myfaVorit (case sensitive) in the check out process.

You will will receive an email with a link to download your .pdf file.  Please watch your spam folder if it doesn’t show up right away.  For help with the coupon code, please email   This code is good until Nov 13th 2016.

Karen Burchill/Creative Kady


ICAD #35 / Try It Tuesday Prompt Stick Challenge # 13- ” Sometimes the Smallest Things”

Combining the ICAD challenge and the Try It Tuesday Prompt Stick Challenge when I can helps me be able to cope with all the balls I am presently juggling.  Some would say, ” why would you do art , when you have so many other things going on”  . The truth of the matter is, the act of creating, of doing art and providing tutorials for others calms me. I’ve said it before , but I will say it again. Doing art/creating calms me, takes away the stresses and helps me cope.  It is very definitely my happy place. A place where the hours just fly by. Where all life’s drama and stress just cease to exist. And so I create.

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Try It Tuesday #13 Prompts

Use the following: sprays, gel medium, found objects, collage with a mask ( black or white) and your own lettering.

My found object is the paper towel that I used to clean off the blending tools after using dylusions paints. I ripped up the paper towel and adhered it with gel medium.

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I then used three colors of Lindy’s Starburst sprays. These are two toned where the spray is one color and the mica powder is another. They give amazing shimmer.

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See the close up below. What amazing texture from the paper towel and the collage technique. Look at the shimmer caught in all the nick and crannies. YUMMMY.

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I used one of Dina Wakely’s bird stamps and made a mask. I placed the mask on the card and using white acrylic paint I stamped  all the way around the mask to give a halo kind of effect. I went on the computer and played around with some of my newly downloaded free fonts  until I liked what I saw. I printed this out. Since the last prompt was to use your own handwriting I printed out the words onto deli paper while looking at the original that I printed out. I think that still counts as your own handwriting. I figure practicing like this eventually will get me brave enough to just do it all by myself. I also added a little stamped heart which I placed so it would look like the bird’s wing.

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I outlined the words , the bird and the edge  with my blue ( yes I said blue) Stabilo All Pencil and then activated it with water and my little round brush.

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Looking at the card I felt that it was missing something. I decided to paint the heart red to make it really pop. Why does it pop- that’s what complimentary colors do- they make each other pop.  ( red and green are complimentary)

I hope this tutorial makes  you want to create and go to your happy place.      CreativeKady


 I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories. Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

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Other ICADs can be found at this link to my Youtube playlist