Art Journal HALL OF FAME

I traveled A LOT this year. It was wonderful! And I learned so, so much. About Art. About myself. About life. I also discovered what my absolute favourite new art journal tools are.

1. My favourite new pen.

I took my Escape Artist groups to one of the oldest artist materials stores in the world, Sennelier,  just over the Seine from the Louvre. On the top floor, if you dare risk the stuffy, squeezy, creaky stairs, is pen heaven. The poor assistant up there was trying not to get frazzled as 15 of us squeezed into the small space and proceeded to touch every single item on display. Oohing and aaaaahing like kids in a lolly shop. Loud, over-excited kids with octopus arms. That was us.

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Mr Pen Man was wearing the white Sennelier lab coat, full of information on pens and patiently answered all of our questions and packaged up our goodies. epic pen 114When there was breathing space, I asked him “Mmonsieur, what is your favourite pen ?”. His face lit up! He dug into his apron pockets and flourished three pens. The first two I got when I was in Paris last time. They were nifty, but are in a box somewhere with all my other pens. But the third one. It was a fountain pen from Japan with special ink. I knew it was a magic-like-a-unicorn the second I test drove it.

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Ooh la-la…. It comes with special waterproof, carbon black that dries very quickly. The ink comes in an easily replaced cartridge system. The nib is incredibly fine, and yet robust enough to go over gesso. It can’t go over {everything}, it’s a fountain pen after all, but it tries! Impressive.

The quality of line I can get and the fine, fine detail. give that pure joy of drawing and writing.
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The balance of the pen is beautiful. It is truly epic. It makes me draw more.

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As soon as I realised just how epic the pen was, I had a mild panic. What happens if I lost it? Part of my brain had to be devoted to pen patrol. I knew I needed more.  So, I hunted the Epic Pen down like a panther, and we now stock them in my store! I now have one in every pencil case, on every desk and by the bed.

Click on the image below to get one:




2. Journal Covers.

Seriously, these Japanese journal covers are best things for an art journaler ever.


  • The inside covers form a pocket which is such a handy way to keep tickets, loose drawings, postcards etc until you need them.
  • I love collecting stickers from buildings and street signs when I am about and about. Groovy street art ones were everywhere in Paris and Bali. There’s a real technique to getting them off in one go. I call these acts of tidying up public property (a-hem), ‘Timmonsing‘ ( named after Sherri Timmons who was one of my Escape Artists in Paris. It’s a story that needs to be acted out, so I can’t go into it right now, but if you meet me out in the world, ask to hear about it.). The Journal covers are perfect for Timmonsed ephemera. Just whack them on the plastic cover until later!
  • The Journal covers offer protection. I use vintage, altered books for my travel journals, and the covers can be delicate. They need a bodyguard.
  • The Journal covers are a raincoat for your book.
    Why would a book need a raincoat?
    Well, as part of the Escape Artist Retreat, we went to Monet’s Garden at Giverny. We caught the train from Paris, went to the markets in Vernon to get a picnic lunch, and then cycled to wonderland. Well that was the plan. But on our lovely cycle through the French countryside, we were all caught in a downpour that went straight past cats-and-dogs and on to elephants-and-blue-whales. There was nothing to be done except keep going. Monstrous. Hilarious. I will never forget Bexs pulling of a shoe and pouring water out of it. You would think a thing like that could ruin the day, right? No way! Not my group! It bonded us. We survived and as soon as we walked into the garden (slosh, slosh, slosh), the sun came out in the merriest of French ways, and dried us out. We wandered with the ghost of Monet’s amongst his magnificent waterlilies and Japanese bridges.
    That’s why a journal needs a raincoat.
  • And the glossy, thick, crystal clear plastic looks coooool. It just does.

clear-cover-B5I first found one of these in a store in Hong Kong about 5 years ago… then a year later in Singapore I saw them again and bought a bunch. So rare! I needed more, so I got sleuthing and with the help of a Japanese friend, we found them, and I imported them into Australia. clear-cover-ABThere are different sizes , and I cut them and restick with clear tape to make a perfect fit. Every journal I have wears one. You can get them here.


3. My favourite bag.

Packing for an international trip puts a lot of pressure on decision making. And I am not talking about flights, hotels and sightseeing lists. I’m talking about the important stuff like what art supplies to bring! I usually pack way to much stuff. And then I take a bag that can carry it all. and guess what? It gets heavy after 5 minutes and each day through the holiday I carry less and less until I don’t even take my journal with me.  Until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal. No more.

Earlier in the year I created a tote bag with Society 6. The bag comes in 3 sizes. I got the 13 x 13 inch.

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At 13 x 13 inch it’s just roomy enough to fit my journal, and small pencil case, wallet, phone, tissues and a muesli bar. I throw it in the washing machine if it needs a spruce up. It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute.

It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute. I dragged it with me EVERYWHERE! And as a direct result I journaled so much more than usual.

I always travel with great expectations. But my bag gets heavy and I stop taking things out and about with me, until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal.

No more. My Paris and Bali journals are FULL because I cracked the journal bag code. So as a reward for scanning all my artwork from this year ( 160 scans!) I treated myself to one of every tote bag I created for Society 6!

society 6 totesI can’t wait to carry more of my my artwork around with me!



As a special treat for you too, I am going to give-away one of my totes awesome Totes!

All you need to do is go to my Society 6 store and then come back here, let me know in a comment that you  which is your favourite Jane Davenport design!

If you are a Society 6 member, or join up, you could double your chance in the give-away by hitting the ‘Promote’ heart for the artwork you like.  And to triple your chances give it a a Facebook like as well, All appreciated!



It goes without saying, that the white ex-fine sharpie paint pen and Peerless watercolors are faves too – but you already knew that! This post is about the more mundane, less colorful items that can rock your next vacation!

It feels so good to share these journaling discoveries with you!

Which brings me to a point about my store. It only has things in it that I actually use, adore and swear by. Essentials for life! It’s not a run-of-the-mill art supply/ mixed media shop. Its a den of delights for art journal afficionados! I find things from all around the world, test and if I fall in love and use them, they go in the store. I retire things that I stop using because I found something better.



Art Journal Jam

The Craft Expo went by in a WHOOSH!
The Art Journal Jam was a colourful fiesta of fun.
My JAMbassadors all got a pair of twinkley kitty ears.

And our Jammers got to play with all the art supplies.

Here are some of my JAMbassadors and Jammers!

brisbane craft show 14Kerry, Monika and I decided we would go and see Maleificent, but the cinemas were completely full, so we went and had cheescake and fun with the Olloclip lense on my phone. Monika has been sharing her GORGEOUS Olloclip photos of nature on her Facebook page, and that inspired me to put mine in my bag the other day…unfortunately for K and M.
Please Note: neither Kerry nor Monika look like this! brisbane craftThese pics are from Kerry… and feature me acting ‘natural’.
I’m sorry,  but if there is a camera near-by, I have to pose ( ie: be an idiot), I can’t help it!  I love that pic of Angus behind the counter. brisbane craft coralWe also had a Mixed Media Art Gallery and it featured my most recent large-scale artwork. brisbane craft 2Here is Jo Klima and her Art Journal Jam results. She is my website designer – you can see her love of colour at work here!Brisbane craft show 14- 4 (1)And my favourite pic is Kerry and I with the pom-pom flowers and our twinkly  kitty ears. Kerry and I met at one of the Brissy craft shows a few years ago and have become friends. I loved having her help Angus and I at the show! She is friendly, knowledgeable and just an  awesome person to be around! brisbane craft show kerry

Thank you again to my wonderful JAMbassadors: Monika Dabrowska, Coral Lee, Maaret, Belinda Seymour, Di Spedicci, Catherine Land and Samm Stars.

My favourite part of the show is meeting internet friends and fans in real life. It’s a buzz! My vocal chords are pretty tired after all the talking I did over the last 3 days, but they’ll recover!

I hope to see you at the next Art Journal Jam, wherever it is!




Art Journal Jam and the JAMbassadors!

art journal jamSometimes an idea erupts out of the blue, and comes to fruition like it was just meant to be. I have had a stand at the Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo in Brisbane for the past several years. My aim has always been to get people Art Journaling.

This year I created the  Art Journal Jam! It’s a dedicated Art Journal zone for interested people to come and journal, share ideas and techniques. I will be there, making art all day, and I will  be accompanied by the ART JOURNAL JAMbassadors!

Bring your art journal and join in the ongoing fun in a cosy art space at the heart if the show! If you don’t have an art journal yet, you can just bring your sense of play. Get art journaling tips from our living, breathing JAMbassadors.

I am also sponsoring  the JAMbassadors Mixed Media Art Gallery featuring the work of our JAMbassadors too!

If you would like to volunteer as a JAMbassador, email Angus:

Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo
Brisbane Convention Centre
Long Weekend
June 7,8,9

brisbane MapI don’t think I’ll stop at Brisbane though. I already know this is going to grow… I’ll be hosting Art Journal Jams all over the world before I know it! Lol!



P.S. Did you notice the new Blog design? I’ll be back to tell you all about it soon!

Map Art Stencils Blog Hop & Give-Away!

Artistcellar Signature Series Map Art by Jill K Berry.

I am still travelling in the USA and today was my last day of teaching. You have heard me say it before, and you’ll hear me say it again: one of my super-powers is attracting awesome people. It’s just a skill I have!  I have had such a great time with my students over the last two weeks.

In preparing for this Blog Hop, I played with Jill K Berry’s new Map Art stencil series on artwork I created in class for my Girlimals workshop last week in Memphis.


I used them as design elements with pencil and I love them! They helped me add a whole new look and direction to the artwork. These are all works in progress, so I’ll be adding to them on my looooong flight home.


That’s what I love about stencils, you can test out ideas without committing.



There are 4 stencils in the set, and guess what? I have a set to give-away!

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Just leave a comment  below about
where your ultimate art retreat location would be!


You can get the stencils here:




Follow the Blog Hop here:

May 9th – Artistcellar
May 11th – Jane Davenport
May 12th – Orly Avineri
May 13th – Rachel Peterson Urista
May 14th – Jill K Berry –
These are the other cool new releases from Artist cellar:

I did it! I did it! I did it!

I am dancing a jig, bouncing from foot to foot! I just uploaded the last image of hundreds and hundreds of images for my book.  The design files, the manuscripts, the PDF’s, the cover ideas – the glorious list goes on. Five solid months worth of devoted time.

And I am a week early on my deadline ( round of applause). This is even more amazing because my computer TOTALLY pooped itself last week, and I had to complete the last stages of the book on a new machine. No tantrums, no dramas.

I leave for my big trip to the USA this weekend and instead of feeling a bit of pre-travel stress over it, it feels like a reward for all my dedicated work.

Aside from this flush of joy of wrapping up a big project ( which looks amazing, but them I am totally biased), I am feeling quite calm. How is this possible?

jill berry workshop 1Well, right from the get-go, I planned some stress relieving, eye freshening, head clearing field trips  spaced out every few weeks during my book creating process. I knew I was going to need them.

And it has worked like an absolute charm. I arrived at my finishing line with energy and clarity.

My first planned holiday was a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri, the next was a little time in Perth to visit family and to host a workshop of my own, then I went up to Brisbane for a 3 day workshop with Jesse Reno,  next I hosted a workshop at ‘The Nest’ and the final fun excursion was last weekend with Jill K Berry.

Jill is an artist, author, workshop leader and one of my Stencil Sisters with  Her book ‘Personal Geographies’  and upcoming book ‘Map Lab’ are devoted to her love of maps, art and journaling.

The workshop was dedicated to creating maps of our lives, and as I discovered a map can be virtually anything!

In this map my landscaping fantasies are bought to life:

jill berry workshop 2

The three days passed in a flurry of colour, paint, drawing….

jill berry workshop 8and… le gasp…. sewing!

I actually took my much ignored Pfaff on the trip and we stitched up a storm! Not exactly a map, but I disapeared into my own little world and bonded with my sewing machine. We are like best buds now!jill berry workshop 7

I had a ball ‘drawing’ with a needle on the coloured papers I created in the workshop the day before. Rather addictive!jill berry workshop 6

Unfortunately I can’t show you any more of what I created just yet because I used Jill’s upcoming stencil collection on them, and that’s all hush hush until they are released ( which is soon!).

It was a small workshop group and over growing mounds of colour tissue, maps and muslin, we all chatted away. Creative people are lovely, rather naughty and very funny. I had a delightful time!

The highlight for me was Jill gifting me with  a ‘Hand Turkey’.

Jill Jane and the Handturkey

Jesse Reno mentioned these creatures several times during his workshop, but there was too much else going on for me to ask what he was referring too. When Jill referred to one, I demanded to know what exactly was this ‘Hand Turkey’!  Apparently every kiddo in the USA grows up drawing these little critters around thanksgiving… so Jill created one for me – laughing the whole time – he went straight into the journal!

This is Jill and the workshop’s organiser, Anne from Timeless Textiles, a wonderful gallery dedicated to textile arts in Newcastle. We were having a giggle during my ‘Selfie’ lesson! ( Anne made a fig, chocolate and ginger slice that will be waiting to open the Pearly Gates for me when I expire someday. )jill-jane-and-Anne--selfie

Thank you Jill for coming on a tour Down Under and Anne for organising the Newcastle workshop.

I hope we keep enticing such wonderful artist teachers to come all this way!


This is Jill’s next book: map-art-lab


I’ll try and keep you up to date as I travel in the USA. I have SUCH awesome adventures ahead, and I’ll be meeting lots of fabbo peeps in ‘real life’ in all my workshops, and I can’t wait for all the fun to unfold.


Jane/ Danger