How To Read A Paint Tube

Here is the information you’ll find on your paint tubes.  This is a lot of information which is very important for an artist to know.  Let’s go over what these things are and what they mean.

On Golden’s paint tubes, the first thing you see is the color swatch.  This shows the color and the opacity/translucency of the paint within the tube.  My other professional paints also have color swatches on them but not which accurately show the opacity of the paint.  Opacity will also be indicated by a rating.  For example:  Opacity, Medium.

You’ll find the name given the paint by the manufacturer.  This can be anything the company chooses and is often misleading.  For example, Ivory black is no longer made with the ivory tusks from animals, yet the name remains.  Indian yellow is claimed to have been originally manufactured in rural India from the urine of cattle fed only on mango leaves and limited water, which caused the animals to become dehydrated.  It has since been debated whether this is true or not, yet the name remains.

This is why it’s important to understand the color index name on the tube.  This is code which tells you what pigment is used in the paint.  Single pigment paints are best for mixing colors, as they are pure pigment and binder (or vehicle).  Paints which have more than one pigment can cause “muddy” colors when mixing.  Let’s look at the color index name on a tube of paint.

The letter P stands for pigment.

Next you’ll see a letter R, O, Y, G, B/Bl, V, Br, W, Bk, which stand for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, white and black.  The more of these on a tube of paint the more colors used to make the paint within the tube.  For example:  Matisse Southern Ocean Blue pigments are Pg7 and PBl15.3 which equals phthalo turquoise in Matisse colors.  (This, by the way, is one of the most beautiful colors I have in my work room.  I adore this color and have vowed never to run out of it.)  The number which follows indicates the specific hue/color of the pigment.

The series number tells you how expensive the paint is.  The lower the number the less expensive the paint is to produce.  For example, Burnt Sienna is a series 1 color as is Yellow Ochre.  Cadmium Yellow Light and Medium are a series 4, while Primary Yellow is a Series 2.  Cadmium Orange HUE is a series 2, while Quinacridone Burnt Orange is a series 3.  Cadmium Red Medium is a Series 4 while Alizarin Crimson HUE is a series 2.  Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold is a Series 7.  Here is an example from one of my paints:

PY83 PR101 PY42 this stands for Pigment Yellow 83, Pigment Red 101 and Pigment Yellow 42.  This color is a series 3, is lightfast, and has an acrylic polymer emulsion vehicle.  The name of this color is Matisse Derivan Australian Sienna-another of my must have colors in my work room.

Pigments are the particles in paint revealing color. Every pigment is classified into two basic categories based on chemical composition – Organic pigments and Inorganic pigments. Organic pigments are formed from complex carbon chemistry and are synthetically derived in laboratories.  Most organic pigments offer high chroma, high tinting strength and exceptional transparency.  When you mix organic pigments, you maintain excellent clarity of color.  Inorganic pigments are not based on carbon chemistry, but instead are derived from natural minerals or ores.  Most inorganic pigments offer relatively low chroma, low tinting strength and a moderate to high degree of opacity. (From Golden’s website)

When a paint is labeled as a HUE, it is not made of the more expensive-and usually more toxic-pigments.  Hue is usually an indication of non-toxic paints and pigments, safe for kids to use with reasonable precautions.  Hues are less expensive paints.  If you’re going to be using a certain color as an under painting, for example, you would be better to use the less expensive hue for this purpose.  There are many, many artists who only use hues of the expensive paint colors.  Some because of cost, others feel hues are safer to work with, and still others because it’s all they can get in their corner of the world.  No matter the reason, the quality of hues has greatly improved over the years and they offer stunning color options at a reasonable price.

Lightfastness is vitally important to an artist.  This is also found on your paint tube.  Most paints available are in levels of 1, 2 and 3.  Whether #1 for the most lightfast or #3 is the most lightfast depends upon the manufacturer.  Some use stars as their symbol, some use the letter A, some use slashes, some the actual numbers.  It’s up to the consumer to figure out what the lightfastness rating of that particular tube of paint based upon the company’s labeling system.

Finally, you will find a product code on your paint tube.  Use this when communicating with the paint manufacturer.  It can them when the paint was made, where it was made, where it was shipped from, all sorts of neat stuff like that.

Finally, all American made paints should indicate they are compliant with ASTM standards.  Not all paints made in other countries necessarily have this on their paints, but those produced in America should.




Daily Art Challenge: March 31

Today’s challenge prompt is Springtime.  This could be gardens, flowers, festivals, renewal, new beginnings, whatever you think of when you think of Spring is perfect for this challenge.

Have fun and enjoy your daily art challenge experience.



Daily Art Challenge: March 30

Today’s Daily Art Challenge Prompt is:  Inspiration or Affirmation Tiles.  The way to do this is very similar to making an ATC or inchie. Here’s how:

  1. I begin with a painted paper, painted or ink stained baby wipes, collage papers or drop papers-any paper will do.  I like to use my scraps and collage pieces for this as well.
  2. Attach the paper to a heavy weight chipboard.  I like to use the backs of sketch pads or paper pads, but you can use any chipboard you want.
    1. I adhere the background paper to the chipboard with gel medium or liquid glue and go over the whole thing with my gift card scraper to make sure it’s really stuck down well and there are no bubbles.
    2. Once the paper is dried onto the chipboard you can cut it into pieces for your tiles or leave it all one piece and continue with the the remaining steps, cutting out the individual tiles later.
  3. Decorate the base in whatever way you want.  I like to add stamped images, stickers, die cuts, spattered paints, anything goes on my background.  Once I have the background complete, I
  4. add the word or phrase onto the tile.  You can do this by using stickers, printed quotes from your computer, words cut from books or magazines, hand lettering-really the choice is wide open.
    1. Remember to space the words appropriately because you will be cutting these into individual tiles.
    2. And the tile sizes don’t matter.  They can be the size of an “inchie”- 1″ by 1″, the size of an ATC-2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″, and any other size you might want.
  5. Add doodles or details where you want them.  Glitter, sparkle, paint pens, inks-use what you have and play around with them.
    1. You can go around each letter of the word-with a black marker border, with a darker color to pop the letters off the tile, with highlights to make the letters stand out
    2. You can go around the whole word with a darker color to make the word pop off the tile.
    3. You can add sparkle to each letter
    4. Add twine or floss around each letter to give it a dimensional look.
  6. Cut your chipboard into individual tiles.
  7. Add paint or ink around the tiles edges to finish them off.
  8. Now I add some 3-D elements like gems, buttons, jewelry findings, bottle caps, whatever I want to give it some interest.
  9. Add triple thick gloss glaze, Diamond glaze or any other type of liquid sealant that adds dimension to the tile.  I don’t generally cover any of my 3-D elements with the glaze, I just go around them and seal their edges to the tile.
  10. Once the dimensional glaze has dried you can add lace or ribbon to the tile.
  11. Now that your tile is finished,  use it on your Inspiration board or as an embellishment in your art journal, on a multi-media piece, as jewelry, the choice is up to you.

Here is a video by Jenniebellie showing how she makes her Inspiration Tiles.  Jennie is a terrific multi-media artist and she is the first person I ever saw who used recycled materials like I do.  I loved her work and her philosophy from the moment I stumbled across one of her videos.  Please check her out.


Art Movements: Italian Renaissance Art, Fresco Painting

There are several aspects to Italian Renaissance Art.  There are the different techniques and mediums used which provide a wide and diverse group of art collectively called the Italian Renaissance.  Today we look at the Fresco Painting techniques used by two of the most famous artists in history:  MICHELANGELO and LEONARDO DA VINCI.

LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519) 'The Last Supper', 1495-97 (tempera and oil glaze)

‘The Last Supper’, 1495-97 (tempera and oil glaze)


‘Sistine Chapel Ceiling’, 1508 -12 (fresco)

MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564) 'The Creation of Adam' from the Sisine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12 (fresco)

‘The Creation of Adam’ from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508 -12 (fresco)

MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564) The 'Last Judgement', 1536-41 (fresco)

The ‘Last Judgement’, 1536-41 (fresco)

In Michelangelo’s work, traditional fresco techniques were used, called Buon Fresco.  This was a challenging technique to master and uses pigment mixed with water and added to a thin layer of wet plaster, called Intonaco.  As it dries, the pigments bond with the plaster which forms a durable finish which will last for centuries.  The artist must work quickly and accurately in sections called Giornata, which in Italian means “a day’s work”.  Each section needed to be finished in one day or the sections had to be cut back, re-plastered and painted again.  Michelangelo’s work has held up amazingly well throughout the centuries and can still be viewed today.

DaVinci was someone who loved to experiment.  He used a technique called Fresco Secco which means “dry fresco”.  This technique uses a binder, similar to tempera binder, and pigment and is applied to dry plaster.  The positive side of this technique is you can achieve much more vibrant colors than the Buon Fresco technique, but the down side is it flakes off the plaster quickly.  The Last Supper began to deteriorate within DaVinci’s lifetime and has endured several restorations.  Some were successful, some were not.

As someone who loves to experiment with things, I can appreciate DaVinci’s desire to play around with his materials.  (Let’s be clear here: my stuff will never be in the same league as DaVinci’s, nor should the crap I make be called “art” at all when one is discussing the brilliance of Leonardo DaVinci.  The work should never be discussed in the same breath.  There is absolutely no commonality between what I make and his masterpieces.  Nothing.  The stuff I make isn’t even good enough for DaVinci to wipe his dirty shoes on.)  The reason I bring up experimentation is this:  DaVinci did it, but his work was otherworldly magnificent.  As if God Himself used DaVinci’s hand…And the tragedy here is his work is deteriorating to such a degree, we will never actually know how amazing it was.  Because others with varying degrees of talent and skill have messed around with it.

This is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.  The Last Supper is one of the most brilliant masterpieces ever created and because the artist felt the need to experiment with things it is decaying.

How many times have you read here: “Use the best quality art materials for any work you’re going to sell.”  Yes, probably so often you’re sick of it.  Well, this is exactly the reason I keep saying it.  What if you turn out to be the next DaVinci?  What if your work is so exceptional and awe-inspiring people will line up for miles to see it?  And what if you made it all from paint you invented yourself from grass clippings and ear wax?  Or from beet juice and motor oil?  Or from beach sand and vinegar?  Do you see where I’m going here?

Experimentation is fine if it’s only for yourself.  You will not sell it, you don’t care if it turns green and falls off the canvas in three months, you don’t care if it sprouts wings, flies off your wall and out the window.  But customers will care and they do.

Check out the materials and supplies you’re using to make sure they are well made and will last a long time.  Your stuff doesn’t necessarily need to be the most expensive stuff money can buy-I have plenty of very high quality supplies which are downright cheap to purchase-but they do have to perform and maintain themselves for a reasonable length of time.  In my mind, that’s my customers life time and the lifetime of their children.  So about 125 to 150 years for a painting, with appropriate care.

For those things I make which are intended to be used-say art journals from recycled materials-they will certainly last the lifetime of my customer and very likely the lifetime of their children as well.  But that is a different thing because the customer adds stuff to the journal which may or may not be of high quality and long lasting.  And with paper products you can add acid inhibiting sprays or go over the entire page with an artist quality sealant.  Both of which greatly increase the items longevity.



Daily Art Challenge: March 29

Today’s daily art prompt is to add something which says Easter to you.  Whether that’s your most holy of holidays, or if bunnies and painted eggs are your first thoughts of Easter-include it in your art work today.

For me, Easter is all about my faith.  It is the most important and significant event in Christianity.  Jesus Christ was crucified upon the cross, died and descended into hell, and rose from the dead three days later.  He over came death, paid the price for my sin and by doing so I don’t have to.  Christ saved me from eternal damnation-which I deserve because I am a sinner-because He loved me.  He loved me so much He sacrificed His life for mine.  And if I were the only person to die for, He would have done it.  Because that’s how much He loves me.  And how much He loves you.  Again, this is my belief and my faith.

There are beautiful, powerful holidays in all faiths.  Islamic holidays are celebrated and recognized by the lunar calendar, rather than by the Gregorian calendar which is solar-so the dates change every year.  Ramadan is a month of daily fasting in which Muslims deepen their spiritual connection to Allah.  It is for purification and spiritual renewal.  Ramadan is during the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is the month the Quran was revealed to Mohammad.  There are other Islamic holidays and sacred observances throughout the year.

Passover is observed in April during the Jewish calendar, which is also lunar and not solar.  This commemorates the Jews exodus from Egypt.  Moses leads God’s people out of the land of Egypt, and God, through Moses, parts the Red Sea so His people can cross into the land of Canaan.  Once God’s people were across, God-through Moses-closed the sea and the Egyptian army following them all drowned.  Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement.  This is a very important day in the Jewish faith and one everyone should be aware of.  If you have a business-don’t schedule anything for this day as most Jews will take the day off work for this vitally important and sacred holiday.  Most of us are aware of Chanukkah-the festival of lights.  It commemorates the taking back of the temple and the lighting of the lights of the menorah.  The Jews only had oil for one night and the days needed to make more oil was eight.  Miraculously the oil lasted those eight days until the new oil was ready.  This miracle is celebrated by the festival of lights each year.  The Jewish faith has many sacred and holy days throughout the year.  Each is special and meaningful.

Obviously, different faiths, beliefs, traditions and holidays are of interest to me.  This is only a brief word about three of them.  Because Easter is Sunday, I thought it was a good art challenge prompt for us today.  If Easter is not something you would like to include in your art, perhaps any significant holiday in your life would be better.  The choice, as always, is yours.

Incorporate the prompt in what ever way you want.  Use whatever supplies or materials you choose.  Sometimes it is beneficial to grab a seldom used supply and play around with it for awhile.  You’ll be surprised how many new-to-you techniques you’ll discover by doing this.  It will give you a fresh look at a supply you may have forgotten about in your stash.  Have fun and remember it’s the creating of art that is important, not the finished product.


Art Movements: Cubism

Cubism is an art form that brought together painting and sculpture.  Traditional use of perspective is absent, with an emphasis on breaking up an object and reassembling that object in abstracted form.  The movement was greatly influenced by a retrospective of Paul Ce’zanne’s three-dimensional paintings in 1904, and two following his death in 1907.  The two primary pioneers of Cubism were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.  Cubism is considered one of the most influential movements in Modern Art.

There were two main types of cubism:

Analytic Cubism: 1909-1912.  Both Picasso and Braque used monochromatic colors of browns and neutrals during this time.  The works of both men shared many similarities.

Synthetic cubism:  1912-1919.  During this phase of the movement paper pieces, often wall paper or chunks of newspaper, were pasted into the compositions.  This is the first time collage was used in fine art.

Here are some examples of Cubism:

Image result for copyright free images of picasso cubism

1910,Girl with Mandolin – Pablo Piccaso


Image result for copyright free images of Braque cubism

1908, Maisons et arbre, oil on canvas, Georges Braque

Picasso’s art is vast and varied.  He explored all sorts of styles and types of art during his lifetime.  His body of work is astonishing.  Yet his Cubism work is perhaps his most recognizable.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 by Pablo Picasso

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 Pablo Picasso

Cubism had a profound influence on all modern art movements which followed, particularly Futurism, Suprematism, Dada, Constructivism, De Stijl and Art Deco.  Each of these art movements incorporated an element of cubism within them.



Daily Art Challenge: March 28

Today’s challenge prompt is lilies (or your favorite flower).  This is the time of year many people are given Easter Lilies.  This time of year always reminds me of my Grandma.  Perhaps these flowers are part of the reason.

Image result for copyright free images of easter lilies

I love flowers.  All kinds.  Doesn’t matter how they smell, really, for me it’s the beautiful colors. The vibrancy of the petals, the contrasting leaves. The velvety stamen, the soft buzz of the honey bee nearby.

My love for flowers comes from my Grandma.  She had beautiful rose gardens in the yard.  She would try to include a rose in the favorite color of each of us-which is a huge amount of roses in riotous colors.  I learned so much about color and how throwing them all together can produce some of the most spectacular combinations you’ve ever seen-from my dear Grandma.

You see, Grandma didn’t worry about the colors of the roses she planted, she placed them where they had the right conditions for growth.  Which meant she had some beds which were in full sun, some in partial sun, some roses along the fence line, some growing over (and eventually completely covering) the garage.  She had roses growing through the porch railings and up trellises along side the house.  She had some working their way around tree trunks and others dancing long the sidewalk.  Grandma had half barrels filled with mini roses- growing up, over and crashing in breathtaking waves of color onto the yard below.

Grandma added other flowers too.  She was no flower snob.  Oh, no!  She loved simple daisies as well as rare orchids. She treasured the dandelions we kids picked by the handfuls and brought in to her.  She floated them in bowls of water and placed them in the center of the table like they were the most gorgeous bouquet she’d ever received. And we, with our grubby little hands and dirty foot prints all over her clean kitchen floor, were always hugged and kissed and cuddled because we brought her such a treasured gift.

We were a moving staircase of children-my parents and my aunts and uncles all having kids around the same time.  One year Grandma had four new grandbabies.  Each from one of her daughters.  Grandma’s only son and wife never had any children, so the others made up for it.  I remember how much she loved us, how much she treasured her family and how gentle, sweet and kind she was to everyone she met.  Without question, my mom is her daughter.

Grandma and Mom have been my greatest artistic influences.  These two incredible ladies have shared their wisdom, their kindness, and their tremendous love of beauty and art with me.  For that, I am forever grateful.  Between them, my two treasured teachers taught me the art of embroidery, sketching, painting, fabric arts, charcoal, flower arranging, book making, cooking and baking, and the art of homemaking.  They tried to impart the gentleness and peace they each carried, but that lesson missed it’s mark.  I am driven, edgy and restless.

These challenges are to get us thinking-to pursue new ideas and inspirations.  We use these challenges to get us out of our creative rut, to try something we might not have tried otherwise, and to increase our knowledge of techniques and materials.  I know flowers are not a particularly new idea, but there are new ways to use them in your art practice.

Maybe it’s time to try watercolor flowers or perhaps pastels.  Use dried paint stained paper towels or wipes to make them.  Collage paper scraps to make a flower background.  Use coffee filters to make flowers for a vase.  Use burlap and fabric, cut into petal shapes and glued together for an embellishment on purses or hats.  Press flowers into the pages of a book and use the pages in your art.  Paint or stamp papers with flowers and use them for journal covers, wrapping paper, tags or bookmarks.  Spatter inks or paints and doodle flower images over the top when dry.  Make hand letters using flowers as their base.

There are so many ways you can incorporate lilies/flowers into your artwork.  Have fun and play around with some of them.


Daily Art Challenge: March 27, con’t

Alright, now that we’ve thought about what we want on our inspiration board, let’s make one! Here’s how:

  1. I start with a piece of foam core, but you can also use a piece of cardboard.  I cut the board into the shape I want.
  2. I use gloopy glue and cover the board with scraps of newspaper to make it very firm and sturdy.
  3. You can add rope, twine, fun foam pieces to the board at this point, gluing securely to your board.  This will give the board a 3-D element.
  4. Once everything is dry, I gesso the whole thing.  Again, let it dry before continuing.
  5. You can add color, stenciled designs, texture paste through stencils, stamped images, spattered paints or inks-use whatever you want to make your background.  I treat it like I would a journal page and just keep adding layers until it looks good to me.
  6. Now gather your images and any inspirational words, sayings, phrases or bible verses you want to include on your board.  I like to put these elements on a separate piece of card board or foam core to lift them off the background a bit.  You can add darker color around them to help them really show up well against the background.
  7. Once you have your images in place, you can add decorative details.  Highlights and shadows with paints or pastels, scrap paper or stained wipes made into flowers, gems, metallic pieces, beads, add chain or ribbon to the bottom of your board and dangle charms, beads, photos or inspiration tiles from them.
  8. Attach ribbon, twine-or something similar-to the back of your board and hang.

The most important thing about your vision/inspiration board is to see it often during your day.  Mine hangs on the wall across from my work area.  Every time I look up, I see it there.  By visualizing your dreams you’re better able to achieve them.

Daily Art Challenge: March 27

This  challenge is to make an inspiration board.  The link explains exactly what we’re doing with this challenge.  This was our yearly challenge for last year and I need to make a new board.  My goals and desires have changed pretty drastically in the last year and my board needs to reflect that.

You may be asking, what is an inspiration board, what’s it’s purpose and how do I make one?  Good questions all.  Let’s get started:

  1.  An inspiration, or vision, board is something you use to motivate and inspire you.  It is a visual motivation, in that you visualize yourself in that new job, that healthy and fit body, in that new home, wearing that new designer pair of shoes, living that lifestyle.
  2. You visualize it, you believe it and you trust it will happen.  You step out into your life as if those dreams are already a reality.  You are sure good things will happen because they have to happen.  There is no other way to think.  You are positive, upbeat, encouraging to others and happy every day.  You make a conscious decision to be a the person you want to be and you actually become that person.
    1. By that I mean, for example, if you are desiring a more healthy lifestyle, you might include images of healthy snacks and a healthy (attainable) body.  You wouldn’t include unattainable images like a 6’5″ supermodel who weighs 110 lbs with tiny breasts and hips if you’re 5’2″ and have voluptuous curves. You will obviously never grow to 6’5″ and change your bodies shape from curvy to thin and wiry.  That is not an image you want on your inspiration board.  If, on the other hand, you have a picture of yourself when you were healthy and fit and would like to be there again-you could include that.
  3. Perhaps you desire a different home.  Put an image on the board that shows the type of house you want and where it is.
  4. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with your current job.  Okay, what job would you like to be doing?  Add it to your vision board.
  5. Include inspirational quotes, phrases, Bible verses-things that will encourage you and uplift you every time you read them.  We’ll be making inspiration tiles for this project too.
  6. Include images of those things you want-perhaps a certain brand of car or a dream vacation.
  7. If you want to be a famous artists, add images that convey that.  If you want a gorgeous art studio, add images of it.  Whatever it is, if you can visualize it you can achieve it.
  8. The purpose of your board is to keep you focused upon those things which are important to you in your life.  To help you cut through the clutter of the everyday and have a narrow, pinpoint focus on your passions, desires and goals.

Once you decide what those things are, we’ll begin making our board.

Daily Art Challenge: March 26

Today’s daily art challenge is to make a junk journal.  This uses recycled junk mail, envelopes that bills come in, advertising brochures, clothing tags, stuff like that.

When making an art journal, we make the pages pretty.  Junk journals just use the stuff as it is, without alterations.  Here is a post about art journals.  I have several posts with details on making journals from all sorts of materials.  Take a look around and you’ll find all sorts of interesting stuff.  Here’s how to make a junk journal by recycling junk mail:

  1.  Folio– a one paper sheet folded in half.  This gives you four pages-two pages on the front of the paper, two on the back of the paper, divided in half.  You can use heavy weight paper or cardstock
  2. Add together as many folios as you choose to make one signature.  I normally use 4 to 6 single pages (folios) folded in half and laid on top of each other.  These are sewn into the cover.
  3. Add envelopes for pockets, three fold brochures that open up to make larger pages.
  4. Tip outs can be added to any page with glue, tape, by stitching them onto the page.  They fold outward, lift up or expand that pages usable space in some way.
  5. If the pages you’re using are sturdy, you can add all sorts of things to them-belly bands, tuck spots, waterfalls, photo mats and journaling spots, just to name a few.
  6. Use sturdy advertising junk mail or very heavy weight booklets as your covers if desired.  I like to use the larger folder sized ads cut to whatever size I want.  If you don’t have appropriate junk mail for your cover, use cereal box chip board or file folders.
  7. The cover can hold as many signatures as you want.  It’s good to remember you’ll be adding stuff to the pages as you work in the journal.  This means they will need space to expand.  I normally add 5 signatures to a 2″ spine.  Less for a smaller spine, more for a larger spine.
  8. I usually add the signatures with a three hole stitch.  One in the center of the cover’s spine and then one on each end, equal distances from from the end of the spine.
  9. I add the holes to the signature by marking the necessary spots that line up with the holes in the spine.
  10. Open a phone book and place the signature in the gap between the open pages.
  11. Use a pokey tool and a hammer and put holes into the signature where marked.  Go through all the pages of the signature.
  12. Put the holes in all the signatures you’re adding to the cover.
  13. I add the signatures to the cover by stitching them in a figure 8 pattern, weaving in and out of the signature holes as often as is necessary to make them secure.
  14. You can use twine, book binding waxed thread, floss, yarn, ribbon, shoestrings, rope, dental floss-anything at all can be used to hold your signatures into your cover.
  15. I really like to leave long strands of whatever I’m using to stitch in the signatures at the top of the journal and add beads to them.  They become bookmarks or pretty dangling details.

I like having several journals going at the same time.  Currently I have a gratitude journal, a techniques journal, a weekly challenge journal, a daily challenge journal, the monthly challenge word journal, a quotes and phrases journal and a women of strength journal.  As you can see, journals can be used for many different things.  It is helpful for me to have several pre-made for those times I have a new idea I want to work out or maybe I want a different theme.

Use a junk journal in the same way you would use any art journal.  Each type is fun to make and fun to use.