Scrapbooking Fun with Altered Arts Images

Hi, it’s Tessa from How to Make Art here to share a fun scrapbooking project with you.  Scrapbooking is one of my favorite hobbies, so today I decided to make a small piece about my dog, Ruby.  I used Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems Origami Paper because of their beautiful bright colors and the fact that the size of the pages fits perfectly into one of the pockets in my pocket scrapbooking system.  You can see the finished piece above.
*Altered Arts Collage Sheet, “15th Century Alphabet”
*Yasutomo Fold ‘Ems Origami Paper
*Niji Waterbrush
*Yasutomo Nori Paste
*Niji Pearlescent Watercolors
STEP ONE: Download and print out the Altered Arts Collage Sheet called “15th Century Alphabet.”  Use your scissors to carefully cut out the letters you wish to use in your project.  You should cut out a word or name that has something to do with the photograph you will show in your scrapbook piece.
STEP TWO:  Use your Niji Waterbrush to moisten the color of Pearlescent Watercolors you wish to use.  Let the water sit there for a few moments to moisten the color and really get it flowing.
STEP THREE:  Paint over the letters you cut out in Step One to add a nice, shimmery effect to your name or word.
STEP FOUR:  While you wait for your letters to dry, use your Nori Paste to glue the photograph to your origami paper.
STEP FIVE:  Now it’s time to glue your letters to the top of the page.  I started by gluing the first and last letters (the “R” and the “Y”) to the edges first, that way it would be easier to center the middle two letters in my word.  Use the Nori Paste to glue these letters on too.
I hope you enjoyed creating a piece for your scrapbook today!

My Happy Valentine

Kehena Beach

When I think about all the places I’ve lived in my one and only life I must say I feel very fortunate to have landed here in Hawaii 12 years ago. I live in a very primal and remote part of the Big Island, near a volcano that is still forming new land. Hiking to the lava flow and seeing it going into the ocean at the break of dawn is a spectacular sight to behold. I also live within walking distance to this tiny black sand beach which is growing ever smaller. That is the nature of black sand beaches, as in most things in life, nothing is forever.

For my latest project, being so close to Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a good time to do a card.

Again I looked to the ocean for my inspiration. This time it came in the form of the Hawaiian State Fish. The Humuhumunukunukuapua’a or Humuhumu for short. It’s a type of trigger fish with a raccoonish kind of black mask. I swam close to the fish to study it’s markings.

I start with a piece of watercolor paper. I thought I’d do the drawing using Niji Pearlescent WatercolorsYasutomo Sumi Ink, and Niji Chinese Watercolors or any acrylic or watercolor with a bright red paint.

I quickly drew the basic shape of the fish. Not that accurate, but very loose, using the Sumi Ink and a simple pointed brush.


Then just kind of finish it off adding the eyes, striping, and little fins (it’s “wings”).


I also added the bubbles that become a heart and the message below. I love seeing the name of the fish. It’s so long and musical. I guess that’s why someone put it in a song (‘My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua Hawai`i). I painted the heart with the Niji Chinese Watercolors because they have a very bright red. I wanted to paint the rest with the Niji Pearlescent Watercolors but I knew from experimenting that the red wasn’t the brightness I wanted. Though to make the heart have the pearlescent shimmer, I went over it with the pearlescent red over it, once it dried.


Here’s a close up of the drawing to show you the shimmer of the pearlescent paint. I love things that shimmer and sparkle, don’t you? Below is the finished card with a little coral added in the corners to complete the whole thing.


Have a wonderful day!

Pouring Inks

It’s pouring here!

…I know it’s not Spring and there is no rain, but it’s definitely pouring out here and its ink!

Pouring is a watercolor technique, where transparent watercolors are poured directly onto  the  paper with minimal to no usage of brush at all. It’s fun and interesting to watch as a painting comes to life after layers of watery, drippy paint.  To be honest after a point,  it looks so messy that you almost seem to wonder if this will end in the trash bin…… but wait until it dries and you remove the masking and voila!

Today I will be demonstrating this technique  in just 10 easy steps, using Splash Inks instead of watercolors. These inks have been created by an artist  and come in a pack of just 3 primaries and black. The primaries are enough to create your own palette of colors and hues.

Here is a  detailed, stepped out demo ….


Splash Inks,

3 containers to hold the inks,

Watercolor paper-140# or 300#,

Masking fluid,

Stamps-Mama Elephant-Central Park

A  spray bottle filled with water

A heat tool to quicken the process of drying -optional

Step 1- Tape a piece of watercolor paper to a board. …this is very important, since we will be working with a lot water and we don’t want our paper to buckle.  Pour the inks into the containers as shown below, adding a bit of water. Stamp the image.

Tip: Thinner the ink,  the paler the pour will be.

Step 2- Take a brush and paint masking fluid “carefully”all over the image… this will protect the image from color.

Tip: I can’t stress enough on the careful part, because the more careful you are at this step, the happier you will be when you peel the masking off! You do not want to be sloppy and ruin the final piece when you see that the colors have seeped into the image! 

Also don’t forget to use an old brush and leave that brush in water as making fluid tends to dry quickly and could ruin your brush!

Step 3- First pour

Dampen paper or brush on water all over the paper . Use a spray bottle to help move the ink around throughout the pouring process.

Pour Yellow directly from the container or use a dropper, and pour at a diagonal to get a lovely mix of colors.

Step 4-  Pour the magenta and tilt the board and let the colors mingle and do their own thing.

Tip: Do not touch or fiddle with it!

Step 5- Pour the blue and look at how beautifully it turns into a lovely green! that’s the beauty of this technique..totally unpredictable results!

Let Dry.

Step 6- Masking fluid is used to save your colors, be it the white of the paper or the colors of the different pours. So apply masking wherever you want to save these colors . I wanted some leaves at this point, so I went ahead and painted some using masking fluid.

Let Dry.

The painted leaves, once dry….

Step 7- Second Pour

To build on the  darks,  pour blue again with a bit of magenta. Keep tilting the board and keep spraying water to move and blend the inks.

Let dry.

TipKeeping the paper damp will prevent hard edges/lines from forming. Also, keep wiping the edges to prevent a back run.

 Step 8- Final pour

Pour a bit of all three and let these mix well to give a wonderful shade of brown…

….now  that looks like a perfect mess! Wait let dry!

 Step 9- Peel the masking  for the final reveal !

Go over the stamped image with a wet brush to push it further into the background rather than popping off the page.

Step 10- Peel the border tape…… and you have a framed painting!

Don’t these inks just glow?

Remember , your project might vary in color tones and hues depending on the intensity of color, you have started with , the angle at which you tilt the board and the amount of water you spray,but, irrespective of all of this, I can assure you the end result will be stunning! So don’t be afraid to experiment and feel free to ask if you have any queries….just leave  me a comment below!

I surely hope you ‘ll have been inspired to give these inks a try…its truly a  rewarding experience!

Stained Glass


Hello everyone, Swarup here, sharing a card/painting, I made for a very close friend of mine for Christmas. Instead of regular colors, I  have used Niji pearlescent  watercolors. I love the way they leave a subtle but effective shine and shimmer, once they are dry. Hard to photograph that shine, but looks awesome in real…perfect for a holiday card.



Watercolor paper,

Niji Pearlescent watercolors,

Niji waterbrush,

Stamps-Sweet Stamps-Madonna and child, CAS-ual Fridays Stamps-Sentiment

Taped the paper down, leaving a thin border to frame the work once done.Stamped and colored the image

Damped the background with water and applied a mix of  colors. and stamped the sentiment.

I love the way the Pearlescent watercolors add a whole new dimension to the painting. Hope you would give it a try!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Watercolor Image Transfer

Terri Sproul here and I love to work with different mediums. Yasutomo is the perfect company for me to be a part of the design team, look at all the fun stuff I get to play with!  I do love to make transfers and in this post I did just that.


Image to Transfer:  I got my image in my MailBox Muse kit
Black Matte
Golden Paints:  Gel Medium
Water Bottle
1)  Start by making your image transfer:
       a)  Brush on gel medium to both the image and the paper you are adding the image to.  NOT too heavy, a nice light even coat on the image and the paper.
       b)  Place image side down to the paper you want the image to placed.
       c)  Let dry.
       d)  Spray water on image paper too get wet, take finger and rub off all the paper.  You image will remain on the paper you adhere too.
2)  After I was done transferring the image, it’s now time to play.  I got my Niji Pearlscent Watercolor out and starting playing,  I painted my watercolors first and using my Niji Waterbrush (love them) to add color to my background.
3)  Adhere my work of art to the  black background paper using Yasutomo Nori Paste.
Thanks for stopping by!
Terri Sproul


niji oct 16 c good too

Lea, bringing you a very special post.  This is very near and dear to my heart.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  While I never had breast cancer, I’ve had a similar experience with another form.  After many surgeries, and chronic health issues to contend with; I am very happy to be creating and going forward in my journey – I am blessed!  I know a few friends who have had breast cancer and like me, treatments are no fun!  Let’s take a pause today and send our love to all going through treatments at this moment, and that cure for cancers are near.

My project today is encouraging words as a cover of a gift box.  I like to create little gifts for those I know who are going through a hard time, no matter the reason.  The box can have almost anything.  A lot of times I like to include polished stones or semi-precious stones that have healing attributes.

Quote Stamp:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence, by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face

You must do the thing which think you cannot do —– Eleanor Roosevelt “

Yasutomo/Niji Supplies:

Niji Splash Inks

Niji Pearlescent Watercolors

Permawriter – Black 

Gel Extreme Pens – Pastel

Nori Paste

Niji Water Brush

Calligraphy Bamboo  Brush

Oval Shaped Palette

Other Products:

140 lb Cold Press Watercolor Paper

Accents as You Wish

niji oct 16 j mixing magenta pink

Mix up colors of Splash Inks in your palette.  For the light magenta, I added water to a few drops of Magenta color.  Use the guide in the package to find the exact color pink/magenta you want.  The card tells you EXACTLY how much water and what color inks you need.  Easy as adding drops to the palette.

niji oct 16 i drying between

Between layers of color and shades, use a stamping heat setting tool to dry your watercolor paper.  Turn paper over too, helps to keep away too much buckling of the paper.

niji oct 16 h mixing into the magenta

Mixing more color.

niji oct 16 g gell extreme

After the quote painting dries.  I used the white Gel Extreme pen to “pop” the white in the eyeballs in the word “look.”  I also didn’t like how dark a letter was, so I used the white to clear the color and then went back in with a lighter color.  Works well.  A couple other colors from the Gel Extreme Pastel Set, helps make a couple of the boxed letters “pop’ as well.

niji oct 16 f bamboo brushes

Splash Inks are used to paint the basic colors of the other image piece.  I mixed both yellow and pink stars, pink = breast cancer ribbon color.  The yellow stars are slightly shaded with orange.  While I use the Water brush, I also use the calligraphy brush.  The next photo will show you that I am also using the Pearlescent watercolors, so the Calligraphy brush works great as well.  Go back and forth between both brushes as needed.

niji oct 16 e water pen pearlescent

The finished project photo and this one doesn’t show the Pearlescent color.  I used the Pearlescent watercolors on the face and hair.  I was able to achieve the shading  in the face and hair.  See that yummy taupe color on the Pearlescent palette?  It is perfect for the face.

Notice:  I used the white Extreme Gel pen again to highlight the lips.

niji oct 16 a

Close up of the face.   On areas where the black ink has dulled in the stamped image, I used the Permawriter to sharpen the black.

niji oct 16 d permawriter

Accents of flowers and hearts (painted with Splash Inks) are added for a finished look.

Remember those who have chronic illnesses, give some love, a gift, or positive thoughts to those in need!

For more information or to order these products, please go to

Cre8tively Yours – Lea

Lea is a current member of the Niji Creative Collective Design Team

Purrfectly Paper Doll

cat paperdoll

October brings out the kid in me. I love the falling leaves, the cooler weather, and all things Halloween. I can’t wait to decorate with tacky Halloween decorations, buy mounds of candy for the neighborhood children, and help my own children create their costumes. In my excitement for the season, I decided to create a black cat paper doll set including some festive Halloween costumes.

Supplies I Used:

Step 1: With the pencil, draw a paper doll body on the cardstock. I chose to make a cat. Just for fun, I created a calico cat who is wearing a black cat suit. Go over the pencil drawing with the permanent black marker.

cat drawing

Step 2: Paint any large black areas with the ultra black ink.

cat painted with ink

Step 3: Paint color details with the watercolor paints and use the metallic pens for any accents. I used the silver pen to make the zipper on the black cat suit.

cat with painted face

Step 4: Place the deli paper over the paper doll and use a pencil to create clothing items that will fit the paper doll body. Move the deli paper off the cat drawing and use the black permanent marker to trace over the pencil lines. Use Nori paste to adhere the deli paper to cardstock. Once dry, cut the pattern pieces.

cat costume pattern pieces

Step 5: Trace the patterns onto decorative origami papers and cut.

Step 6: Use Nori paste to adhere the origami papers to cardstock. Outline each piece with the black permanent marker. Remember to add tabs to the pieces so that you can attach them to the paper doll. Cut the pieces. Add accents with metallic gel pens.

go-go suit

Step 7: To create fairy wings, paint deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add sparkle with metallic gel pens. Cut two wing shapes. Glue or machine stitch the wing shapes to the wing piece. To create straps, cut small strips and glue them to the top and bottom of the wing piece.

Step 8: To create a fairy tu-tu, paint two rectangular pieces of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add dots with the metallic gel pen. Match the long edges of the rectangles and baste a single stitch across the top. Carefully pull the threads to gather the paper. Use Nori paste to glue the tu-tu to the body suit.

metallic painted pieces

fairy suit

Step 9: For a fancy mermaid tail, paint a sheet of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Cut a small strip of the deli paper (about 6″ x 1/2″). Accordion-fold the strip and cut a fish scale shape. When you unfold the strip, you will have a row of fish scales. Continue making these fish scale rows, as you’ll need quite a few to fill up the tail! Layer the scales onto the tail using Nori paste.

gold deli paper


Step 10: Carefully cut the paper doll.

cat in cat suit

Step 11: Enjoy your new paper doll set!


cat a go go

Cat Fairy:


And my favorite… Mercat!

cat mermaid

You can use paper dolls in so many unique ways. Create fun displays in frames, arrange them on your mantel, or use them in a garland by hanging the pieces onto twine using tiny clothespins. Once you get started, you’ll discover your own way to play!