Welcome to Life Documented - Week 30 with Paula Hardesty

“Traveling to the beach with paint, stenciling and stamping.” 
A Vacation To Remember.

Technique: Multiple Layering

Prompt: Add colorful strips of paper to your layout

Quote: Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard. Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

Hello my beautiful creative souls.  My name is Paula Hardesty and I am thrilled and honored to be your guest teacher this week.   

I hope you enjoy this little project and you can use this process for so much more.   All that we do in mixed media is about layering.  This definitely does the process justice.   One of my most favorite things to do right now is stenciling. I am offering 20 free sets of the two different flower sizes, fish, fern and seahorse to the first 20 creative souls who leave a message below with the words - “YES to Traveling.”  

First up supplies.  I will show you exactly what I have used but you can use whatever paper or paint you would like.   I love the Strathmore Mixed Media paper which is 11x14 (bought at Michaels).  It will take a lot of punishment and it is smooth to write and stamp on. Roben-Marie Smith and Rae Missigman are my idols.  They showed me mark making and now I can’t stop.  I am in love with color and Kraft paper - omg the contrast is so beautiful.  I never thought of the combination but the girls did. 
I used some craft paints by Martha Stewart as my base stripes.   Party streamer (love that color), date night pink, indigo and peacock feather.  Craft paints are thin so they move very well across the page.   My favorite everyday acrylic paints would have to be Amsterdam.  Here I used white, nickel titan yellow and a neon green.  Liquitex is also a great everyday acrylic paint.  It is comparable to Amsterdam.  They are thicker and their pigment load is greater.  I also used Dylusions blue sky.  Those paints are fabulous for too.  I put them in a little squirt bottle - makes it so much easier to use.  Makeup sponges are smooth and great for stenciling BUT my favorite for stenciling right now are Tim Holtz’ Ranger Mini Ink blending tool/sponge.  I use one for each color.  Then simply pull off the round sponge and wash them out.   Use a circular motion with this tool. They work beautifully with stencils.  Just be gentle when applying them to your stencil.  

Lay out your favorite colors on your palette. Spritz BOTH sides of the paper with water.  Don’t drown it!  Just a thin layer of water.  (Both sides wet will keep it from bending up on you.  It will also act as a suction to the paper or mat underneath.) Dip your makeup sponge in the pink paints and swipe across the page diagonally.  I put about 5-6 stripes on it.   

Then take a new sponge and swipe the next color.  I use three to four colors.  You can use as many colors you like.  Just remember yellow and purple make mud.  To smooth out a color I will just dip back in my color or pick up some white.  The water keeps it wet longer and let’s us blend.  

Dry each layer as we go.   This will ensure that there is no mixing of colors and keep a sharp crisp edge on your stenciled image.  Now let’s get to the fun part.  Layering on the images.  I use homemade foam stamps and stencils.  You can also use foam stamps or anything that will make an impression.  I go for 4-6 different images.  I tend to put down the dark colors and work to the light colors.  Just my process.  

The last layer or stencil is the lightest color usually white and then to knock it back a touch I use a very pale color on top of it.  Here I used the white for the fish and seahorses.   When putting these on think about us cutting these into strips.  So I stencil them in lines.  Nothing too perfect.  Now add pale blue circle/bubbles on top.    (Mix your white with a tiny bit of the indigo).

Now cut your 11x14 paper into one inch strips.  11 inches long will cover the edge of your 8 ½ x 11 brown kraft paper.   

Now for some stamping fun.  Pick out some stamps that go with your them or you can just use a swirl.  

Now lets punch our holes.  You can take it right to a 3-hole punch OR if you want the holes in the middle of the strips then punch them all by hand.  That’s what I do - hand punch the holes because I want the sewing to be even on each side.  

Now put a thin strip of glue stick on your strip.  Think about where you are putting the glue because I don’t want my needle to stick to the glue.  Do the front and back. 

Pick out your favorite color thread and stitch the strip on.  Remember to make your stitch length long and I backstitch on each end to keep the threads from coming out.

Now you can add to your binder.  The one below is from last years trip to the beach - I will be working on this years trip in another binder for a couple months.  That takes me a little long to put together.  

Here is a BONUS for you.

To create a really cool piece of paper to cut out images or you can even do this for your strips.  I use my leftover colors on my palette and take the mixed media paper and press it onto the top of the paint.  Do it over and over.  Marry two pieces together and pull apart.     When you are finished let it dry and then cut out some fun shapes . I used my scan n cut machine.  I love that thing.

Note:  If you don't use a ring binder, you can use these strips on the outside edge of your paper, gluing one to each side or use it to separate your days or even the edge of a pocket or a belly band to keep your memorabilia in.

If you don't have a cutter or punch just fussy cut some shapes out for the bonus material.  

Supplies used

Please visit me on Instagram at paulahardestysart.  I would love to meet you.  Thank you for letting me share.


  1. YES to travelling

  2. Replies
    1. This is claire Ann leggett here my lovely - I have just seen your fabulous tutorial love it ❤️

  3. Replies
    1. So excited by your post as I need some stimulation and a new turn in my road. Next week, we will embark on a 4,00 mile journey in the RV with the family, two cats who see staying at home with a sitter the worst of two evils.....so they are coming with us. Always make a travel journal and new ideas. Thanks

      Monica sweating it out in Texas

  4. “YES to Traveling.”

    So excited by your post as I need some stimulation and a new turn in my road. Next week, we will embark on a 4,00 mile journey in the RV with the family, two cats who see staying at home with a sitter the worst of two evils.....so they are coming with us. Always make a travel journal and new ideas. Thanks

    Monica sweating it out in Texas
    Not sure why this is in a reply as I tried to delete it. Since my recent switch to The Empire of Google" meaning I have switched to Google Drive, Docs, Google+ and everything Google, strange thing happen.

  5. Well, I'm in! "YES to Traveling"

  6. "YES to traveling!" - that's if it's not too late to join in the fun with this! I'm on catch up as I've been away, traveled to beautiful Somerset to camp in the rain for a week!
    Love your tutorial - really great step by steps for the layering techniques used, and fab ideas on how to use the layered papers. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Looking forward to having a go with this as soon as I can, and will post photos in the Facebook group when ready! :-)
    Deborah J Gregg xx


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