Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pieces of Me: An Artists' Book

I'm excited to announce my first book, Pieces of Me. Yes, after years of wanting to make a book that you can hold in your hands (or read on your e-reader), it's here. It's not a how to or an online class. It's me in journal form. It's a twenty page journal full of raw, honest truths, my truths. These are pages that will not be published on the blog. Above are four sample pages that I hope you enjoy.

You can order a copy in two forms:

1. a physical, hand bound (hand sewn by me) copy of the artists' book (20 full color, high quality pages, paperback)

-#1 also includes a pdf file that's ready to be read now (see below for more info)

-Books will be shipped within 2-3 days of ordering.

-I have a very limited amount of books right now and will replenish stock as needed (I will update this page if and when I run out.)

-SHIPPING: $3 for US customers. For customers outside of the US, please email me as shipping will be additional depending upon where you live based on USPS prices. 

Print Copy + pdf is $25


2. A PDF file that's ready to be read NOW on your computer, e-reader or even smartphone. Along with that pdf file you will receive a link to a ready to print pdf file for those of you interested in printing out your own copy. 

If the above paypal buttons do not work for you or you have any questions or concerns, please email me at

For those of you who order, you will receive an email from me with the information that you need to know within 24 hours. Everything is done by hand by me! If it's not in your inbox, please check your spam box. If it's not there, please send me an email. Thanks!

Thank you for your interest!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

21 August 2013 Journal Page

The focal image got a little dinged up in my journal bag. I really wanted to use it and here it is, letting go of imperfection and making it work. Isn't that what it's all about?

Monday, October 28, 2013

19 August 2013 Journal Page

I love coloring parts of my pages in. Oh, how it brings me back, calms me down and makes me focus on the present moment. I used Glaze and Souffle pens to color in the circle design. I try to let each color dry before I start the next layer. If you're using a Rapidosketch to outline any work done with a Glaze or Souffle pen, make sure that pen work is dry before you use your fine tip Rapidosketch. I also like to have scratch paper nearby in case my markers and pens start to misbehave. Usually a quick mark made on scrap paper seems to help move the ink along. 

More tips on Glaze and Souffle pens here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thoughts on Why I Teach

Pouring my heart out onto my pages and speaking my truth.
Folks think it's about the money and that teachers in this field rake it in. I make below minimum wage. I always have. Yes, I make my living from teaching but there's a far greater reason than that. I teach because I have to (I am driven to) and want to. I teach because it is what I am most passionate about. Nothing beats the experience of being in a classroom (either a physical or virtual one), giving everyone the same materials and ideas and watching the light bulbs go off as each creates something unique. It's an enriching experience and something that constantly pushes me to become a better teacher and human being. Some thoughts on a Sunday morning reiterated from my journal page.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

17 August 2013 Journal Page

Home from a good day of teaching at The Word is Art gallery. So thankful to have a spot open up for classes that's so close to where Stampin from the Heart used to be.

Thanks to a bit of permanent glue dots and tape, I was able to attach the vellum (which is always tricky to work with) to the page. I collaged on top of it using a glue stick. The pen work on the vellum is done with a .35 Rapidosketch and Souffle pen (Sakura Glaze, Pilot Latte and most water based paint markers like Sharpie and Molotow also work on vellum, tape and slick surfaces.) If you're not sure if something will work, test it on a scrap piece of paper (or tape, vellum, etc...) before trying it on your actual page. It's what I do with new pens and markers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

16 August 2013 Journal Page

Taped instagram photo to the bottom of the page (above, the other side is below)

 The page as is:

I hope that whatever you do, wherever you are, you find some art time for yourself this weekend. Even if it's just gluing something down or slapping some paint on a page. Every little bit counts!

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.”-Corita Kent

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent

It's no secret that I am huge fan of Corita Kent. I was beyond thrilled to unwrap a copy of the latest book about Corita, Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent (a gift from my sister who either has great taste or knows how to read a wish list really well!) If you haven't seen it yet, go out of your way to check it out. It's a must have book for every artist's shelf.

More on Corita here.

Thanks again, Erin!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On the Eve of 39

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular,and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."
-Mary Oliver

I also just realized that I'm the same age as Jack Benny.

14 August 2013 Journal Page

Taped glassine envelope filled with an instagram photo I took on one side and this on the other:

Page without the envelope:

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

13 August 2013 Journal Page

One of the things that folks often say in classes is that they have no place to write on their pages. The page above is an example as to how there's ALWAYS room to write! I like to explore my handwriting as I put pen to paper using different colored pens/markers and font styles. Not sure if a pen will work? Try it. If you don't like it, wipe it off before it dries (if you can) or let it dry and go over it with another color pen. My point is that there is always a place to write on your pages. It's just a matter of stepping outside of your comfort zone and asking yourself, "what if?" Remember, it's not art to hang on the wall, it's art in your journal, your safe place to play and explore.

Blog Love
 Less Herger has a great series of blog posts on how to choose an online art journaling course, corporations and art, empty promises and much, much more... Some food for thought.
Lynne Hoppe
Lakshmi Sharath

Monday, October 21, 2013

Essence of Me: Tape Journal Revised and Revisited

Several years ago (2004, I think it was) I taught a class that I simply called, "The Tape Journal." It was extremely popular and it introduced people to the wonderful world of tape in all forms. A few months ago I decided to revise the class, make it a bit smaller and bring it back again in a new form. I'll be teaching it at various locations across the U.S.  

My favorite tapes, hands down, continue to be REAL washi tape (not that knock off crap that everyone calls washi) and the skinny, transparent deco tapes printed with text. I love layering and combining various tapes and paper to make new pages. They really are very versatile (not to mention highly addicting!) 

Here's my UPDATED infamous post on TAPE in all forms.

I'm very happy to be teaching at Word is Art Gallery in Los Angeles again this SATURDAY (yes, a special day!) I'll be teaching my Luscious Layers class. It's all collage, baby! YES, I'll be bringing tape! If you want to bring a journal to work in you can, but we'll be working on scrapbooking paper and revising it. Questions? Please email me at EGorey99 AT sbcglobal DOT net. To sign up, please go here. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Visual Inspiration: My Favorite Magazines

I tend to put my visual inspiration habit above all others. I'll go without new clothes and other things before I'll go without picking up a copy of a favorite magazine or a new book that beckons to me. Above is a photo of my favorite "must have" magazines. These are the ones that I buy almost every issue of and that I keep in stacks next to my bed. When you ask me what I subscribe to or what are my essential magazines, these are the cream of the crop!

I have every issue of Uppercase stacked on a shelf next to my bed. I also have everything that they've ever published. It is my absolute most favorite magazine and one that I never fail to devour completely. Their blog and instagram feeds are impressive, too. Inspiration in all things should be the unsaid mantra for this magazine. I have had my eyes opened multiple times by something new that I've found on the pages in Uppercase. If I could only buy one magazine, this would be it. You can't get any better than this magazine! I LOVE Uppercase!

Flow is another magazine that I have to keep myself from licking the pages. When a new issue arrives, I carry it with me until I am done eyeballing each and every page multiple times. I have been looking for a source for multiple non English/international back issues (I know I can order some of the Dutch issues on their site but would love to trade or buy from someone who may be interested in parting with their old copies.) Their third international issue is out and mine is on order! I can't wait! They also have great social media pages (instagram and the like.)

Darling is somewhat new to the scene and I have every print issue they've published except for number one (alas, I was late to the party.) Since I discovered issue number two at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, I've stalked them on their sites to find out when the next issue would be available. Wonderfully written articles coupled with gorgeous photography makes this one a keeper. I've curled up with it in bed multiple times and dogeared (gasp!) pages.

I have almost every issue of The Simple Things. I love the informative articles and the cozy photographs. It comes out monthly and can easily be found at Barnes and Noble. It's just a fabulous celebration of living! 

Mollie Makes Home has only two issues to its name but I have both and find them extremely yummy. Vibrant, full color pages with lots of eye candy sprinkled throughout. You'll get glimpses into artists' lives and studios which makes it worth the price of admission alone for me!

Kolaj is inspiring, informative and chock full of information and inspiration for every artist (even the ones not interested in collage can learn something in this magazine!) I have every issue and love to peruse repeatedly! 

What magazines inspire you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stenciled Pages

The other day I posted about my favorite stencil companies. Desert Mermaid wrote to me and asked if I could show some specific pages where I used my stencils. All of these are very recent pages and only one (the woman with her head down, bottom set, top right) doesn't have a stencil on it.

Top set from left to right, top row first, I used stencils like this:

-butterflies from Retro Cafe colored in with a blue Souffle pen
-Roses (unknown) colored in with a pink Souffle pen
-Layers of stencils (make sure you wait for each layer to dry before adding the next) using XO and heart stencils from Retro Cafe and using various Glaze and Souffle pens from Sakura
-Heart stencil from Stencil Girl on top of my focal image using a black .35 Rapidosketch and a Gold water based Sharpie Paint Pen.

Top set from left to right, top row first, I used stencils like this:

-Raindrops from Crafters Workshop using Souffle and Glaze pens from Sakura and water based Sharpie Paint Pens
-Hearts from Retro Cafe colored in with a pink water based Sharpie Paint Pen
-Half of a Crafters Workshop wheel stencil along the left hand side of the page colored in with Souffle and Glaze pens from Sakura and water based Sharpie Paint Pens

Some Tricks:
-Go slow as you trace/outline and/or color the stencils in. 
-Lift the stencil slowly as you remove it from the page.
-Make sure the pen work is totally dry before you change pens or add another layer.
-The ink in new Glaze and Souffle pens tends to scoot underneath the stencils. If you don't go right up against the edge of the stencil, you should be okay. Accidents happen and you can always fix it by letting it dry and outlining the stencil in a darker color.
-Wipe your stencil down with a dry rag or paper towel when you're done.
-When using Glaze or Souffle pens, the ink should just flow from the pens. Don't press down hard as you use them. (More on that here.)
-Don't feel like you have to use the whole stencil. Use bits and pieces of it and make it your own!
-Don't like how a color turned out? Let it dry and use an opaque pen (like Souffle or a water based paint pen) on top of it.
-Not sure that a pen will work or what a color will look like or how a stencil will behave? Test it on scrap paper first! 
Original Post on Favorite Stencils Here
List of Favorite Pens Here and Here
List of Favorite Supplies Here 

Even More Journal Evolution

Top journal is summer 2006.
Bottom left is Fall 2008.
Bottom right is summer 2004.

I can see my voice really starting to come out in the 2008 journal. Not that it doesn't show in the others but for some reason, the pages in the 2008 journal seem simply to be, "more me."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stencil Love

I love stencils. I've been collecting them and using them in my work and in my classes for several years now. I've used them with paints and sprays (always make sure that your brush doesn't have a lot of water on it. You want it as dry as can be when you're stenciling.) I've used them with my watercolor crayons and pencils (scribble on waxed paper and use a slightly damp brush to pick up the color. Stipple the brush onto your surface.) My most favorite way to use them is with my pens and markers. I find it to be very meditative. Some days, I'll color them in completely, other days I'll outline them and leave as is or I'll color them in and outline them later. It all depends on my mood. I love using bits and pieces of a stencil, too. My favorites tend to be the smaller 6" ones that I can easily store in a ziploc bag and toss in my journal bag.

I like sturdy stencils that take a beating. The really thin, cheaply made stencils tend to irritate me more than anything. 

Some of my most favorite companies to order from include:

Crafters Workshop
Stencil Girl
Retro Cafe

 Have I left your favorite stencil company off of the list?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Journal Evolution

The medium size journal is from 2003. The large one is from 2005. The small one is 2009. A history of paint, collage, journaling, and just simple self expression. I used more paint back then and I liked to stick three dimensional stuff on the pages in the early 2000's. 

I wrote in my journal the other day that I'm right where I need to be. I have never felt more fulfilled with my art making than I have since I took up collage (my passion has grown even deeper over the years.) I have often said that while I am an experienced teacher, at the same time I am still a student. There is always something new to learn. I'm still finding my place with collage (as well as myself) and I am eager to see how far I can push it. 

I'm teaching my "Telling Your Truth" workshop this Sunday at the Art Bar in Santa Ana. Next Saturday I'll be back in L.A. at Word is Art teaching Luscious Layers. More workshop info can be found here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More Journal Evolution

The top journal is from December 2004. The bottom is 2008.
See how much we can change the more we keep pushing?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Old Journals

Add caption
The top book is from 2000. The bottom is from 2007. We all have to start somewhere.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Art classes tend to bring the most wonderful people together. Thank you to Maria and my fabulous students for another weekend full of art, fun and friendship. I truly loved every minute.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I always speak my truth on my pages...

Friday, October 11, 2013


Had a great day teaching today!! Hope my students did, too!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What a Welcome!

How could I not be welcome teaching at a place that has this hanging on their front door?! Happy to be at Maria's in Niles and all set up for the weekend!!!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


One of the questions that I am asked most often is how am I able to journal every day? Where do I find my ideas? How do I know what to write? 

As I've said in the past, I rarely sit down with any preconceived ideas unless I'm feeling very emotional. I make the time to journal every single day even if it's only for a few minutes. I open my book and start flipping through my collage pile to find what appeals to me most at that moment. I go from there depending upon how I am feeling and what I feel like saying.

I am able to do so many pages because I feel like I am barely scratching the surface of me. I want to go deeper and see what evolves. I make my pages to push myself and to see what I can unravel and if those discoveries will help me to grow as a person and an artist. I don't do this to keep myself busy. I don't call it a craft. It's something I am compelled to do. It's a part of me.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

10 August 2013 Journal Page

Folks often ask me about my favorite supplies (you can find the list here of everything I use from collage images to glue to pens and much, much more. I hope to be updating some of them very soon.) I like to encourage people to use what they have on hand. You don't need any special tools to make an art journal page. Some of my favorite pages have come from using a glue stick, a favorite pen and book/magazine images and nothing else. 

Thank you to everyone who has picked up the latest Art Journaling magazine with my art on the cover and an article on the inside. I'm very happy to hear that my voice rang out loud and clear on the pages. Thank you for the kind words. They truly mean a lot.

This week I am traveling to teach at Maria's studio in the Niles section of Fremont. I will be teaching five NEW workshops Friday through Sunday. There is still room in almost all of the classes (Saturday night's class, Love Your Lettering, is almost full.) If you've been on the fence, don't wait much longer. I don't have any plans to repeat these workshops in Northern California again any time soon so sign up while you can! I hope to see you there. 

Sunday, October 06, 2013


You will not love everything that you make nor will all of them be masterpieces. I think the sooner we realize that, the faster we can get on with the act of making.

Saturday, October 05, 2013


I've often said that I find my time in my art journal to be very meditative. It's my time to quiet myself down, focus on what I'm doing and where I am, and to just revel in the moment. 

I love the simple act of cutting. I've never been an x-acto knife kind of gal. I use my scissors to do all of my intricate cutting. I cut slowly, turning the paper as needed. (I use my ruler for straight cuts.) I don't cut anything out ahead of time. I don't plan my pages ahead of time so I never know what I want to use or how I want to use it. I prefer to discover what I'm going to do with a specific piece of paper when I'm ready to work with it and I never quite know when that moment will be until I have said paper in my hands.