Got some new things in my shoppe for you today, at 20% off!


I am really excited about my new commercial use overlays — Grunge Factory Volume 2. I think when you combine these transparent overlays and/or use them in Layer masks, you can get some really cool and neat effects.

I also have another set of Dreamy Photo Overlays for you!

I love how the very talented ladies at CatScrap have used them here….


Have a great day!

This week I put up two older brush sets of mine, Shmootzy Acrylic Frames and Get Creative with Paint. I have to say that the Get Creative set is a favorite of mine because I love the effect of watercolor and with 74 brush pieces the possibilities are endless. If you add Illustrator into the mix, it gets even better!

Lately, I have been enjoying creating my own illustrator brushes for doodling on my wacom tablet so I got to thinking about pulling in some of the brush strokes in my Get Creative set, into Illustrator to make watercolor brushes. I think they turned out pretty good, although dark in a few places.

Want to learn how to create your own watercolor brushes in Illustrator? Let's go! If you want to play along with this tutorial, you can grab the finished illustrator brushset here.

First, open up a Photoshop file (I did 12x12x300 dpi). Load the Get Creative Brushset by choosing Load Brushes from the brush palette.

Once you have the brushes loaded, choose some of the brush strokes from the set and on a New Layer, arrange them vertically, spacing them out from one another….


Then save this file off as a jpg…


Now open up Illustrator and place that jpg file into your document using File > Place

Now that the file is place into Illustrator, let's Trace & Expand our artwork. Because the watercolor strokes have such detail to them, we can't just use the default tracing options… Instead (making sure you have selected the jpg image), let's choose Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options


This will bring up our Tracing Options dialog box. Check the box that says Preview so we can see how our options will affect the finished trace. Choose Color 16 from the drop down menu for our Preset and click Trace. This is what it will look like. It doesn't look as smooth as in Photoshop but the watercolor detail will be there. If I did it again, I may play around and try and lighten up the dark spots because when we draw with these in Illustrator some of the spots are too dark.


These are traced but not expanded… click on the Expand button in the palette at the top of Illustrator.


Then UnGroup

Wait, we are not quite done… don't forget to select a white area on your brush (any white area), and choose >Select > Same Fill & Stroke and hit Delete. This will clear away any unwanted white areas.


Okay, now let's create our brushes!

Select the first stroke and then from the brushes palette in Illustrator click on that little down arrow and choose New Brush


Choose New Art Brush and click OK


In the Art Brush window, make sure to name your brushes and check the following…


Proportional, flip along the vertical and horizontal axis and make sure to choose Tints and Shades from the Colorization drop down menu. This is so that when you start doodling, your strokes will be in color.

Click OK. Do this for all the brush strokes that you want.

Once you have the finished brushes, hold down your Shift key and select them all, then from the Brush palette, choose >Save Brush Library. Give your brushes a name you'll remember and put them into the Brushes folder in Illustrator. Next time you want them, they will show up in your Brush Library for easy access.

It seems a bit tedious and alot of little steps, but the in end it is worth it because you can create your own brushes that don't look like anyone elses! Get out your favorite pens, markers and brushes and get scanning! It's so much fun.

Here is a few swirls and strokes that I made with my new watercolor brushes. These are also included in the download file that accompanies this tutorial..


ETA: Okay! So the dark parts were really bugging me! LOL! I went in and edited the brushes and instead of choosing Tints & Shades from the Colorization drop down menu, I chose just Tints and it really lightened up the overall affect. I like this softer look better, but you may like it the other way. Here is what it looks like lightened up…


Screen shot 2011-03-05 at 12.46.17 PM

Have a great weekend!



I'm excited to share with you some new products that I have put up today at CatScrap!

I've created some new Love Art that's perfect for home decor, creating your own canvas wall art or perhaps using for tags or cards. They'd be great for creating your own Valentine's Day greetings.

Nrj-loveart-600-4  Nrj-loveart-600-3


 My Dreamy Photo Textures are one-of-a-kind 4×6 textures perfect for adding some oomph to your photos (as overlays), accents for your pages, or even areas to journal in.

Nrj-dreamyphotos-600 Nrj-dreamyphotos-600-2

Both of these items are 20% off today at CatScrap!





Shmootzy (another word for messy!) frames are so much fun. You can use them as frames or tuck them behind photos, use as a space for journaling or even as masks. You can combine them with other frames, artwork or masks to make some really unique frames of your own!

I'll show you how I created the frame below, by combining all 8 of my new Shmootzy Romance Frames

Nrj-shmootzyframes-600 First, open up a small workspace in Photoshop and you can either open up all the .png files that came with the Shmootzies and then drag them over onto your workspace (remember to hold down the shift key to center), OR you can load the brushset (.abr) and individually stamp them, either on their own layers or one on top of the other, rotating and resizing, until you get the effect you want.

For my combo frame, I just dragged all the .png files and then centered them, or rotated them until I had this organic and interesting looking thing below!

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.42.47 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.43.26 PM
Put all your layers into a group. We are going to make a cutout in the center of this graphic so you can actually use it as a frame (but if you want it as a mask you could always leave it alone or further embellish the center).

Next, make a Layer Mask for the Group. Load up some solid square brushes, grungy brushes, or paint strokes. For this example, I loaded my Polaroid Transfer Mask brushes. I picked a square brush and a solid black paint color and "stamped" in the center of my Layer Mask, where I wanted the cutout to appear.

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.57.37 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.58.05 PM

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 4.58.20 PM
And that's it! Save your frame as a brush, or .png file or make more! It's fun to play around and come up with unique creations of your own!

Don't forget you can download my finished frame here.

Have a great night!


Some new Shmootz!

I've got two new products up today at CatScrap for Valentine's Day…

Shmootzy Romance – which is a set of 8 "shmootzy" frames and masks as well as some new "Romantic" PDQ Texture Overlays. Both of these products are full of hearts, flowers and flourish frames (say that three times fast!)

To celebrate, I've created this frame just for you! It's a combination of all 8 Shmootzy Frames in the set and I'll be back later today to show you how you can combine your own for some great effects!

Shmootzy Romance Frame

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 7.58.44 AM



Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 to you! I hope this day finds you happy and healthy! Do you have a resolution? I am always hesitant to start a new year's resolution — knowing full well that I give up about mid-January! LOL! I know who I am and that I am not perfect…but with age also comes the knowledge that striving for perfection is a surefire road to disappointment.

Instead, I've learned to try and do better a bit at a time — eat a LITTLE healthier, work out ONE more day than I did last week, and most importantly set aside a BIT of time to be with the ones I love. I end up alot closer to being a better me than I would if I dove in headfirst with unrealistic expectations, only to fail again and disappoint myself in the process.

So, here's to being PERFECTLY imperfect! Won't you join me?

To celebrate the new year, I've created a little freebie brushset for you!



What is an Art Journal? This morning, I found this definition on Wicktionary….

art journal (plural art journals)

  1. A collection of words and images in a diary that chronicles the ideas, memories, and thoughts of an artist. Pages within an art journal include words, pictures and even embellishments.

Basically, it can be anything you want it to be… it is like a journal but is very expressive & theraputic because you are working in whatever medium you want. I just started taking Roben-Marie's wonderful Mixed Media Mayhem class and I love her style! She is so fun and free-flowing and experimental. She works in mixed-mediums like gesso, charcoal, pen, and mostly spray water washes by Adirondack. The results are gorgeous layers of color. If you have time, check it out!

For today's tutorial, we are going to be creating an art journal digitally using Christine (Fiddlette Designs) and I's new Journal Your Art Out kit! This is first in a series of kits dedicated to the art of Art Journals. It's so fun & truly something to do for yourself — to have fun experimenting and playing, digitally of course! Ready? Let's Go!

First, let's open up a background to play with… you can choose whatever you want, but I chose my background 2 from the kit.


Next, load up your brushes. We'll be loading up the charcoal drawings & jumbo stamped alpha set from Journal your Art out.

Artjournal2 Artjournal3

Find some flower stems and circles and begin to stamp out whatever design you want!

This is what I settled on….


I tend to make a new layer in Pshop each time I stamp so I can move stuff around and play until I like what I see. As you stamp, just hold down Shift+Command (Ctrl for PC) +N each time before you stamp to put each image on new layers.

Next, open up some of the painted bits circles from the kit…I dragged each of these circles individually to just behind the charcoal circles on my art journal.


Do the same with some of the painted bit hearts…I used the hearts as leaves on my flower stems…


Okay, at this stage, go ahead and save your art journal page before we proceed (just to be safe in case you have an unstable Mac computer like I have! LOL)

Next, we will be using some of the masks and mask outlines included in the kit. Go ahead and open up the .png sheets for both …

Artjournal9  Artjournal10

Then open up Christine's painted background CAH_houseRECTANGLE1.png.

Next, select the angel wing from the mask sheet and copy and paste it over to the painted background.

Drag your angel wing mask (Layer 1) underneath the background layer (Layer 0) and create a clipping mask by holding down Alt/Option and clicking between the layers in the Layers palette. You'll know you are on the right track because you will see two circles with a left arrow. Then you'll see a down left arrow on the painted background layer and your image of a wing will be clipped. Note: You can also create a clipping mask by going to Layers>Create Clipping Mask (or hold down Alt/Option & Command G).

Feel free to move your painted background layer around to play with what parts of it will peek through on your wing. This is the experimental part and it's really fun! Feel free here to also paint or stamp on your wing in your own style…


Once you get the look you want, Merge Down the layer so you are left with a perfectly decorated wing!



Drag your wing over to your art journal page. I placed mine next to my flower stem, making it look like a giant leaf. I also copied and pasted over the coordinating charcoal line outline and placed it over top of the wing. Additionally, I repeated these steps to add a flower to my second circle & stem as well as a star.


Next, I added a title, using the jumbo stamped alpha, varying the letter size and added some journaling.

To finish up, I played with the levels to saturate my background a bit and burned up the edges…

The key with any kind of art journaling is to make it your own. Fill it with your own style, thoughts & journaling. It is a fun way to journal but also I've found that for me, it's very theraputic — whether I'm using my paints or my computer.

If you'd like to download this finished art journal page of mine, you can download it here (6 MB).




I am so excited to announce my new collaboration with the amazing Christine Honsinger aka "Fiddlette Designs"!


Journal Your Art Out is first in a series of digital kits dedicated to the art of Art Journals…

The first in a series of brand new collaborative kits by Fiddlette and Nancie Rowe Janitz Designs.  Nancie paints in her basement in Michigan, Christine paints on her kitchen table in Los Angeles.  Together, they created a first-of-its-kind art journaling kit perfect for the beginner as well as the long time mixed media artist.  It includes 14 hand painted backgrounds using acrylics, gesso, water soluble oil pastels, a wide range of Golden products, collage ephemera and graphite and charcoal pencils. Also included are numerous elements, a full alpha in PNG and ABR formats, masks and charcoal pencil outlines, 3 art dolls, charcoal stamps, 2 houses, an overlay, a variety of this and that for you to take and personalize your own art journal whether it be digital or hybrid.

Check out the AMAZING layouts done by our Creative Team… they really showcase the thing I love about this new series in that it can be used for digital layouts as well as art journaling.

20101120_unique_600 2010You_600
Cherish-copy_600 Cherish-Foreverh_600

The kit is also 20% off this week and I'll have a quick tutorial tomorrow on how to use what's in our kit!

Happy Scrapping!


danced in our heads! So Aja Abney and I collaborated on a new kit called SugarPlums!



Sugarplums-promo1 Sugarplums-promo2

You can grab it today at CatScrap for 20% off! It is filled with gorgeous glittery goodies (say that three times fast!) 🙂 and it's perfect for holiday as well as any winter layouts!

I'm headed out to visit my sister in SF tomorrow…so I'll check in from the road!




Hey there! I've got some fun stuff up at CatScrap today and the good news is that it is 35% off! 

My All for Fall Papers and Elements….fun, bright and whimsical!

Nrj-allforfall-ep-200_t_600 Nrj-allforfall-pp-200_t_600

And I'm particularly proud and excited about my Grateful Wall Art Workshop. In it I have included a self-paced PDF class on how to create canvas wall art, as well as two original pieces of artwork, Full of Beauty and Full of Grace. I think these would make great Holiday gifts too!


Nrj-gratefulart4-600-01_600  Nrj-gratefulart4-600_600