Category Archives: People

Will I see you in LifeBook 2015?

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I just won a free seat in LifeBook 2015 and feel like I’ve been given a huge Divine Permission Slip for some artsy play time in my future!

Congratulations to KymmieJo, The Gypsy Magpie, Matti, Ann, Lisa, Tonya, Teri, Pat, and Christy! I hope that you are all as thrilled, happy, and excited as I am! Wooo-hooooooo!

Super GREAT BIG THANKS to Tam for her generosity in picking 10 lucky winners!

And thank you to Gracie, all the teachers and guides, and everyone who’s involved in making LifeBook 2015 possible! ♥

Want to teach YOUR OWN online classes? there!

Have you ever wanted to teach your own artsy-craftsy courses online?

My friend, Jeanine O’Neill-Blackwell is getting ready to offer a class that will teach you how! She will show you how to design a class that delivers results that your students will love, how to appeal to all different learning styles, and all about the technology to deliver YOUR online classes!

Sign up for a FREE Webinar to learn all about the class. (The webinar is geared toward coaches or consultants, but I think it will work for us artsy types, too!)

I am planning to take this class… will I see you there? ♥

I have the most amazing clients!

Hello! Today I’d like to share this fabulous post that I spotted the other day on Facebook – and please know that I share it with Lisa’s permission.

I am having so much fun leaning into and growing into this new role as a coach. And I adore my clients! Each one of you is teaching me so much and I am so grateful that you are also finding it useful and meaningful and worthwhile.

Thank you! ♥

Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel

Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel handmade by Anne Gaal of

Hello! For my final Design Team post, I would like to share a recent mixed media panel that I created, called “Nostalgia.” The base is a large, 16″ x 20″ archival-quality Ampersand artist panel.

Nostalgia is $99 unframed with free shipping in the continental US.

(It will be far less expensive to ship it to you unframed and 16″ x 20″ is a standard frame size you can find locally, often on sale.)

I must confess that when I started this piece, I intended it to be just for fun, so I didn’t really keep track of the steps. I’ve been creating a lot of pieces for specific purposes and on deadline lately, where you have to track all the steps and materials used, so my intention for this piece was to just play and let whatever bubbled forth to blossom.

Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel shown with furniture to show scale (handmade by Anne Gaal of

I am including this photo to give you a sense of the scale of the piece when compared to a piece of furniture. The panel could be displayed like this – leaning on top of a picture rail or a piece of furniture. Or it could be framed.

Close-up #1 of Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel handmade by Anne Gaal of

Many layers were added as I created this piece. I collaged papers onto the panel, added various colors of Ranger Distress Stains, and layered tinted gesso over top.

Close-up #2 of Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel handmade by Anne Gaal of

I added acrylic paints using stencils, such as the Venice Stencil from the Artistcellar Old World Map Series, and some numbers from the hardware store. Details were added using colored pencils.

Close-up #3 of Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel handmade by Anne Gaal of

The drippies were made by applying Dylusions Ink Sprays using an eye dropper, and rinsing it between colors. I transferred images using a xylene blender pen, and intentionally distressed some of the transfer areas to give it a vintage feel.

Close-up #4 of Nostalgia Mixed Media Panel handmade by Anne Gaal of

Finally, I added a very subtle iridescence to the dragonfly wings, using as Sakura Stardust clear glitter gel pen. I tried to capture the shimmer in this photo, but it looks better in real life. This photo also shows some of the texture from the various papers collaged onto the surface of the piece.

I had a complete blast making this project! As an exploratory mixed media artist, part of the fun for me is experimenting and trying new combinations of materials, and to see how it all works out. This project allowed me to tap back into some of that play and experimentation and exploration and I loved it!

Thanks so much for supporting me as part of the Artistcellar Design Team! Tremendous special thanks to Lisa Cousineau for inviting me to be a member! I had so much fun!

And thanks to you for stopping by!

No Rules Art Journal

No Rules Art Journal handmade by Anne Gaal of

Hi there! Recently, I’ve discovered that I am in the midst of a transition period in my life. I’m moving forward, and growing, and – like everyone! – am finding myself busier and busier.

Loosen up!

The other day, I realized that part of my busy-ness is that sometimes I am too rigid or strict with myself. Instead of creating something just for fun, just for the sheer joy of it, I wrap it up in “should dos” and “have tos.” I end up spending extra time trying to make things fit into my pre-conceived little notions of how it “should” look – and end up forcing things.

So, I decided to STOP IT!

Inner-Excavate-Along with Effy

My friend, Effy Wild, recently suggested that we all work through Liz Lamoreux’s book called Inner Excavation together. Liz’s book is about combining mixed media art journaling with photography and poetry in a journey of self-discovery. And I found myself wanting to not only document this transition phase of my life, but also to rediscover creating writing and poetry.

Effy is recording videos as she works through the book, and she is including links to videos that Liz created previously. The group is further along than I am, but I am not in a hurry. I am savoring this process and just allowing it to take the time it takes.

My solution? A No Rules Art Journal

What I decided to do is begin a new art journaling project, based loosely on Liz’s Inner Excavation book, but with NO RULES. I want it to be completely free form. My intention is to allow myself some space to create without rules, without “should dos” and “have tos.” To create from my heart, for fun!

Part of my “No Rules” approach is that the art journal isn’t even going to start out as an art journal. I am going to be working on different sized pages and papers, no bigger than 8 1/2″ x 11″. I am going to work on just one page at a time, in whatever way I like. And if I end up hating what I made, I can throw it out or gesso over it and begin again.

The pages that I do like are going into a box for now … and toward the end of my project, I am going to take all the loose pages and arrange them in a way that pleases me. Then I am going to take them to the copy center at an office supply store and have them coil or comb bind the pages all together.

The photo above shows three such pages – a poem, an art journal layout, and a handmade postcard-sized photo print that a friend sent me with her lovely note on the back. All are different sizes, and I see them all working and blending together in my new No Rules journal.

A Firm Foundation Journal Layout handmade by Anne Gaal of

Firm Foundation Layout

My journal layout is meant to compliment a poem that I wrote, about how I am working toward laying a firm foundation for my future. I started with a piece of Penny Black scrapbook paper, cut it to size, and painted a mixture of taupe paint and gesso on top to distress it.

Then I placed the new Notre Dame Cathedral Floorplan stencil from Artistcellar on top. This stencil works more like a mask, in the sense that you use it to block off areas that won’t get color – instead of adding color through the design. I applied Vintage Photo Distress Ink over top of the stencil, using a sponge dauber. The result is that the gesso mixture shows through where the stencil was placed.

Next I added the lettering, accenting the larger letters with blue colored pencil so they would pop. And then I added a brick design from a stencil by The Crafter’s Workshop (see current designs available from Artistcellar here).

What about you? What rules are you self-imposing?

Where could you lighten up or loosen up? What self-imposed rules, should dos, or have tos could you let go of?

Thanks for stopping by!