Art Journal Page Tutorial

Hey, Strange Birds

I am so excited about our January Journal Challenge.  I am happy to say that I have been creating art every single day for at least an hour for 23 days!  I am so excited about the project, that I think we will do an other in February.  For now, follow our Instagram account One Strange Bird to get a daily dose of color.

For this post, I wanted to share with you a recent page I created with step-by-step instructions. Below is the full, completed page.  This was made one January 20th, 2014 for the topic of kindness. 


Materials needed: mod podge, crayons, brush, washi tape, paint markers, stamps, stamp pads, vintage photo or other ephemera, and letter stencils


Step One: I ripped up some cute, patterned scrapbook paper and glued it all over both pages with mod-podge

ImageStep Two: I mixed a good deal of water into some gesso (or you can use white paint) and layered over the papers to tone down the colors a bit.

ImageStep Three: I ripped up two types of washi tape and put it randomly around the pages

ImageStep Four:  I scribbled and doodled with some crayons to add more color.  I also stamped small stamps and pressed some bubble wrap onto a stamp pad to add more texture.  I embossed some of the bubble wrap impressions to make them even more textured.


Step Five: I used a stencil to add words.  I then filled them in with gold paint.

ImageThat is it!  Have fun in your journal.  Remember it is for you!! Image



Packing Tape Transfer Tutorial for Art Journaling

Hi, Strange Birds!

I teamed up with my super-talented sister, Madeline Northway to make a new art tutorial. In this video I share some of my favorite collage materials and different art books that I like to work in.  I also show you how to do a really cool image transfer technique that uses packing tape!

Below are my first 12 days of our January Art Journal Challenge!  It has been a blast so far.  I have been consistently doing art every morning for 12 days.  I am loving the looseness and playfulness that I am finding in my journal.  I can’t wait to see how this project influences my artwork.

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Check out our sweet new art journal kit for sale HERE

Join the January Journal Challenge

I can’t believe we’re already seven days into our January Journal Challenge! This challenge has been a great way to motivate making new art everyday. It has allowed me to set aside time to do something I enjoy and share it with others. We wanted to show off some of the amazing art that has already been made and we hope you’ll be inspired to join the rest of the monthly challenge. Remember to tag your photos on Facebook or Instagram with #JanJournalChallenge to share them with us or send us your images via email at

Happy art making!
Day 1 : Resolutions by sagenlavender















Day 2 : Reflections by afields6

renewal - afields6














Day 3 : Renewal by Snuberry

renewal snuberry














Day 4 : Relationships by MsMarylnn















Day 5 : Health by OneStrangeBird (aka Nicole Northway)

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Day 6 : Positivity by TwigsandGold (aka Jess Egan)















Day 7 : Consciousness by OneStrangeBird (aka Nicole Northway)

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My Favorite Art Journaling Supplies

Nicole Northway here and I’m excited to share with you my favorite journaling and mixed media supplies!  Jess’s idea for our #JanJournalChallege has really heated up my studio practice.  I haven’t had much time to myself lately with my wedding planning, running The Bird, and the busy holiday season.  The Journal Challenge has inspired me to re-commit to my own art practice.  Since I opened One Strange Bird a couple of years ago, my artwork has been shifting constantly.  Influenced by the materials and themes we use in our classes and the energy of my customers and students, I have been incorporating more mixed media in my paintings.  I have always been obsessed with sketchbooks and journaling.  I literally have at least a hundred I’ve working in since 2000.  I am happy to share some of the tools I use in my books.  Stay tuned for some really cool tutorials in the next couple of weeks.  If you are in Chicago, I have some mixed media collage classes I am teaching. Check out our website for more info.

ImageMy (Nicole Northway) Studio

Everyone needs a little space to work.  I have had many studios.  I’ve had studios in friend’s basements and garages, studios at undergrad and grad school, and professional studios in big artist loft buildings.  I think after about 13 years of studios, I have realized I am most productive in a home studio.  Right now we have a tiny amazing apartment in a high-rise and I have a great corner to work in with an AMAZING view of the city. Gratitude….

ImageI run on coffee.


 I am always on the hunt for the perfect sketchbook.  Here is a cute one my momma bought me that I am currently working in.  Pictured is my other favorite, the Molskien! Lastly, I just started using pictures and ephemera from my life in a Smashbook.  It come with pages already colored and doodled on.  Sometimes I like working in that book if the white pages in my other book are freaking me out.  I also call that book my “happy place” and only fill it full of awesomeness.


 I have a serious addiction to washi tape.  It adds a great line focused element in lots of my collage composition.


I am powerless without Mod Podge.  It acts a both a glue and a sealant and add a great texture to mixed media work.  Gel Medium is my go-to  for image transfers.  I like matte medium when I need to seal something, but still want to be able to paint or draw on top of it. It is also (obviously) not as glossy as the gel and Mod Podge.  I just discovered the amazing power of tape runners.  It is like roll on white out, but tape. Ohmygod.


I love all kinds of paints, but I have really been into these cheapy craft paints by Martha Stewart and Apple Barrel.  Since they are so inexpensive, I fell more uninhibited when using them.  I also really like the chalky texture after they have dried.

ImageBrushes!  Lots of them in lots of sizes and shapes.

ImageI think collages are only as good as their source materials.  I love collecting vintage maps and magazines, layering with sewing patterns, and printing pictures from my Instagram with the app Postal Pics. They have a craft size that is only 2 X 2 and perfect for journaling.

It’s not too late to start the challenge.  Join us on Instagram and use the hashtag #janjournalchallenge and tag us @onestrangebird so we can see what you are up to!  Don’t have Instagram?  Use the same hashtag on FB.  We will be looking for inspiration.

Join us for our January Journal Challenge!

IMG_20131229_1349292014 is almost here and we’re exciting to begin the new year with our first ever art challenge! Throughout the month of January One Strange Bird will be creating art every day and we want you to join us. Whether you want to complete one page every day or choose just few themes we invite you to begin the new year by getting into the habit of making art. Each day of the month will have a one or two word theme that will act as a jumping off point for your painting, drawing, or writing.

You can follow our progress on the One Strange Bird Blog, Facebook, or Instagram. We also invite you to send us your images via our email (, our Facebook, or by tagging your Instagram photos with #JanJournalChallenge so we can see your original works of art!

Happy New Year from all of us at One Strange Bird!


Holiday Packages

Hi there! I bet everyone is getting excited to wrap up all their treasures for their family and friends!

I want to share with you some of my pretty packages! We had a handprinted gift wrap class at One Strange Bird.  In our workshop, we taught how to carve an easy cut lino block, ink it up, and print away.  The results were fantastic, I think!

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Printmaking is so versatile and can be applied to many crafty projects.  We use the same process to create greeting cards, print on tote bags, handprint fabric and more. I am creating an E-course for this soon!  For now, you can use pre-made holiday stamps that you can find at Jo-Anne or Michael’s.  We offer a kit that has everything you need to carve and print a stamp for $29.00.  We also sell twine, washi tape, doilies, rubber stamps, cute little bags, and embossing materials!  Come by to get some supplies.

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Check out our PInterest Page for more package inspiration.

Here are some of my favorites:

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Holiday Handmade Cards!

The holidays are coming up quickly, but you still have time to create and send out your own handmade holiday cards! We’re happy to introduce our first of many craft videos to show you our step by step process for creating your own unique holiday card set. This video with our store owner Nicole Northway will show you how to line envelopes, emboss, and more!

This process is fun, quick, and perfect for crafters of any experience level. We’ve also added some additional holiday card designs below to get you thinking of a design that will make all who receive your card feel festive!

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If you don’t have supplies at home for your holiday cards? Stop by One Strange Bird to pick them up, or join us for our Holiday Handmade Cards class or choose from any of our other holiday themed art classes. Stay tuned for more holiday crafts and video tutorials!