Thoughts & Stories: Scrapbooking Detox

I have a confession. When I was in highschool, I became a chronic scrapbooker. Yes, a scrapbooker in the most lethal sense. I would take my hard earned babysitting money and gallop into the nearest "Scrapbooking Nest" where I would proceed to buy all the overpriced stickers and acid free paper I could. This paper (I was told) could withstand the apocalypse...at about $5.99 a piece (but money well spent right?).

I even went to scrapbooking parties where we would practice "page" themes. Simply putting my camping trip photos in an album would no longer do. They needed...NEEDED I say...sparkle borders and thought bubbles popping out of peoples heads saying "Schools out!" or "Party Time!" or "Girls Rule!". These items were essential for my memories to properly be recorded. 

As you can imagine not only did my bank account hit a low during this phase, but I became completely addicted to glue stickers and ribbon. Through a series of events (that I will not speak of here) I was finally set free from my over the top need for glue and photoalbums.

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After helping out at a large banquet event the other night, I was awarded a bag of scrapbooking items (Thanks Sara & Kirsten!). I will not lie, my paper cutting addictive tendancies immediately began rising up in my throat and I would have given anything for that whole room of 200 people to clear out so I could start doodling right there on the floor.

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Thankfully, SMASH products come to us at a much simpler time than 1998...and I can assure you my scrapbooking adventure this time around will be much simpler and in turn, more fun! I love the quirkiness of these products (notebooks, pens, sticky notes and fancy tapes). Did I mention they are sparkle and thought bubble free?  

When it comes to journaling and scrapbooking these days...I don't force miserable friends and family to look at pictures anymore. Instead I use scrapbooking to brainstorm for my business and dreams. It's a fun hands on way to organize my thoughts. I also look forward to the quiet time in the midst of such a digital age. Plus, when I pull out my books and journals later, I acutally enjoy looking through them. So in a way, I am making a memory...just a more purposeful one that's just for me.

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Can I interest you in some bakers twine? For decades I'm sure it was used for just that, wrapping up dough and baked goods. For me, I love using it to wrap gifts and send packages. You can find bakers twine anywhere, but I purchased these on Etsy at Annie 42 Creations.

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Another fun idea is making your own stamps. I drew this victorla design with ink and then had it made into a stamp by Puddle Jumpin' Cards. It's a great way to share your drawings with people without, you know, showing up at their doorstep with a painting intended for their mantle (that's weird).

Washitape
The other day my Mom pointed to some tape I had with me and said, "what's that?". Oh man...well let me tell you. It's called washi tape! You can buy all sorts of japanese washi tape on the web, but I really like Cute Tape because they have many different styles. Washi tape is perfect for wrapping gifts and packages because not only is it perfectly secure, but it's pretty. And know what? I like pretty things. 

If you are in scrapbook recovery like me, these items are simple fun ways to boost any note, journal, letter or package. I don't know if they could withstand the apocalypse or acid rain, but for now anyway, you'll be glad they are in your desk.

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DIY: Wrapping Paper Just In Time For Mother's Day!

I'm so excited to tell you I finally got a new camera! I had fun playing with it after work/school the last couple evenings. Yesterday I set up a tri-pod and went to town on a DIY project I've had on my mind for quite awhile. It seems I never have wrapping paper on hand (because in general, I'm an ill prepared person). Luckily, I always have lots of pens and watercolors on hand to create my own! Care to join in? Great! 

One disclaimer I'd like to make is that I am not the greatest fine artist in the world. In fact, most of my creative process stems from doodling and experimenting with ideas. Remember, you don't have to be an amazing or trained artist to create. I say, the more personalized and funny your doodles, the better. For me, I'm doing something floral in honor of my Mom :)

Here's what you'll need:

Numbered DIY wrapping collage

1. Paintbrush  2. Watercolors   3. Water Resistant Ink Pen  4. Bakers Twine  5.  Potter & Butler Bow (or your choice)  6. Washi Tape (or any tape)  7. SMASH mini notes (or anygift tag...not pictured)                8. Large Page of Watercolor Paper

 

Step by Step Guide:

  

 

My mom is a gardener and really loves flowers. I actually grew up watching her watercolor pictures of her garden. It only seemed fitting to recreate these for her on Mother's Day. 

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Don't you love the rosette bow? These, along with many other wonderful celebratory creations can be found at Potter & Butler, one my favorite Etsy stores (they are located here in Portland as well)!

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I hope all the Moms out there have a really relaxed and blessed Mother's Day. You literally keep this world going round, and we all appreciate you! A very special hello to Kathy, my other (new) Mom...Kenny and I love you so much and hope you enjoy the day!

It's supposed to be really sunny here in P-town (not a usual occurance for us)...here's hoping you all get some sun too.

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Artist: Theater Clouds

Everyone once in awhile I come across art that is so unique and charming that I have to buy it right away. This would be one of those moments. I literally gasped when I saw Elly MacKay's Etsy shop, Theater Clouds. I'd never seen art like this before and was immediately curious how it was created. 

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Elly's art is designed by drawing on yupo paper, cutting it out and then setting up a well lit minature theater scene. She then experiments with light and filters until the perfect mood has been set...then she photographs it!

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I adore these prints. I actually just purchased one today and hope to hang it in my future child's nursery (someday...totally not pregnant Mom!). Each scene tells such a rich story and the characters seem to be  in a tranquil dream like place. There is a really special whimsy to these stories and I was very drawn to them.

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The textures created by the light sources Elly uses...not to mention the beautiful paper is truly stunning and so interesting to behold I find myself staring at the prints endlessly. I know I'm sounding a little over the top here, but really...I'm truly inspired by Theater Clouds.

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To keep up with Elly MacKay and her work you can visit her blog and don't forget to stop by her SHOP and pick up some prints. It's nearly the weekend...hopefully it's as lovely as some of the scenes in these pictures for you.

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2012 Inspirational Wall Art: Quotes For A Room

I don't write about my personal life, in detail anyway, on this blog. If you skip back WAY to the beginning, you may find a few "raw" gems as I struggled to develop what my content would actually be about (a process I'm continuously in). However, for the most part I try and keep it focused on Design, Paper Goods, Vintage...and the development of Jarfly as a business. In short, it's a professional blog that also offers vignettes of creativity from my own life and that of others whom I respect and admire. 

I do miss...the beauty of writing about life. New Year was emotional for me this time around as my life is in complete and utter transition.

I became a wife. I became a small business owner. I became a blogger. I became a natural health nut. I became a first time home HUNTER (haven't found the right house quite yet). I became a student (again).

In the midst of all that, I've been fighting a long time battle with chronic sickness that has kept me down for years (quite literally in bed at times). I finally discovered I'd given "chronic" way too much power in my life...as the word had become like a friend. In direct opposition to that mentality I've started a massive "make over" and life style change in my eating habits, exercise routine, attitude and closet. 

To overcome my battle with my health..and also to stay focused on my professional dreams, not to mention relationships... I've used quotes, visuals and bible verses to get me through each day. I've surrounded myself with smiles on our apartment walls. Whether it be beautiful projects that inspire me or simple promises to myself in post-it form, anywhere I have a mirror, cupboard or fridge is covered in positive reinforcement.

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(Inspirational quotes, images and scripture where I get ready in the morning)

 

The encouraging ideas and quotes themselves can't help me grow, but they certainly aid in keeping me grounded when I feel I will stumble. And it's a lot of fun to collect anyway. I've chosen some lovely wall art that display quotes I find very relatable for a new year...full of fresh starts, challenge, joy and some laughs. If you find yourself in a place of change and growth like me, you may appreciate these! Here we go...

 

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Fresh take on an old quote: by Ellinee

 

 

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Good reminder from Vol. 25

 

 

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Coldplay Lyrics by EnBierBitte

 

 

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Simple thought by Handz

 

 

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My favorite quote EVER. by Bird Ave

 

 

 

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To aid in "keeping your cool" ;) by Kingston Creations

 

 

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Darn good advice by Joy Keeper

 

 

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General cuteness by The Gingham Owl

 

 

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Lovely thought by Graphic Anthology

 

 

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I like this one by Ideas of Jenny Lee

 

 

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Had to include one that's on my wall...by Jarfly :)

 

Alright folks, now that you are good and inspired go out get some good stuff done! Happy Thursday! -Jenni

 

 

Mint Week: Paper Goods

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I suppose it's confession time. If you've been following at all this week, you may have noticed I promised to post some new mint-inspired artwork and card designs. In the end, I really wasn't in love with anything I created over the last 2 weeks. It's been a fun time for me in regards to color combos, decorating and photography...not so much on the art and graphic design side. Rather than try and "force" some art that simply isn't mean't to be right now, I'm choosing instead to showcase some amazing paper goods from Etsy sellers, NW artists and even big ol' stores like Anthropologie :) I hope you enjoy browsing. My first love will always be little note cards, so this was certainly fun to compile.

 

Il_fullxfull.263504019Friendship Note Card from Starfly Creations

 

 

Il_fullxfull.212671918Personalized Mint Mixer from Please Note

 

 

Il_fullxfull.267495529Rolled Paper Pencils from Write With Moxie

 

 

Il_fullxfull.280323931Geometric Blank Cards from Rare Bird

 

 

 

Il_fullxfull.239616161Mint Circle Die Cuts from Curl N Chic

 

 

 

Il_570xN.243080634Mint Bicycle Note Card by The Littered House

 

 

 

Il_570xN.195215185Pom Pom Treat Toppers by Potter & Butler

 

 

422326181_lBJRTy3K_cPretty Wrapping paper from Anthropologie

 

 

Il_570xN.178264513Letter pressed note cards by Ilee

 

 

 

Il_570xN.268518511Paper Flower Pinwheel Decorations from 508 Baldwin

 

 

Il_fullxfull.255688849Wedding Invitations by Vicentine Design

 

 

Il_570xN.195044638Christmas Card by Farouche

 

 

498Green Washi Envelopes by Ginko Papers

 

 

Il_fullxfull.211092982Mini-Notebook by Ariand Maya Designs

 

 

Il_570xN.241802828Hand Stitched Mint Cupcake Card by LeoBella Boutique

 

 

I'm so thankful that you chose to stop by Jarfly today. Ironically, I think this simple compilation of wonderful handmade papergoods has turned out to be my favorite part of mint week. Why not end on that note, right? Remember TOMORROW is your LAST day to enter the contest to win a sweet, minty, vintage prize...leave a comment letting me know how you shared Jarfly's Mint Week!

The winner will be drawn using a random number generator early Tuesday morning! Mint week is officially over, but check in with us tomorrow for a small recap and BIG thank you...see you then :)

 

 

 

NW Artist Feature: Vol. 25 PLUS Exclusive Offer!

I could not be more excited to feature Jessica Rose of the lovely Vol. 25 today! Truth be told, when I stumbled upon Jessica's blog about 2 years ago...I was fully inspired to take mine to the next level. In turn, I can quite literally credit her as a catalyst for the Jarfly that is...and hopefully, the Jarfly that will be!

PLACES TO CONNECT WITH JESSICA AND VOL.25

THE BLOG . Eye Candy SHOP . Etsy SHOP . FACEBOOK . TWITTER

 

I'm drawn to Jessica's art and designs for many reasons. It's fresh, yet vintage. It's simple, yet tells a story. My favorite quality, however, is her ability to take something as simple as laundry detergent and make it whimsical and amazing. Take a look!

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"Wash Cycle" prints by Jessica Rose of Vol. 25

 

Jessica is offering Jarfly readers an exclusive discount at her Etsy Store starting TODAY! Make sure to stop by and use SAVE25JARFLY to receive 25% off your entire purchase. This offer ends next Wednesday, so hop to it...but NOT before reading my interview with Jessica below...as she was kind enough to spend a little time in this nook we call Jarfly.


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"Love"  Print by Jessica Rose of Vol. 25

 

1. Name, Age, Location

Jessica Rose, 29, Prosser, Washington

2. Vol. 25 is a very interesting name, how did you come up with it?
     

Thanks! When I decided to open an etsy shop, choosing a name was probably the HARDEST, most difficult part. I remember being so frustrated, that I would have named it just about anything so that I could finally start designing my logo.

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"Live Simply" Print by Jessica Rose of Vol. 25
 

 

3. What was the most basic catalyst for you launching your shop and blog? 

I always knew I was going to be a stay at home mom. My husband and I knew we would have less in life because of it, a smaller house, older car, less eating out but we were both ready to accept that. When I opened my etsy shop it was purely as a means to make a little extra money doing what I loved most- drawing. My hobby quickly turned into a business!


 

4. How would you describe your art?

Inspiring. Motivational. Positive. Soft. Sweet. I kinda hope that is how others would describe it! 

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"It Takes Hands" Print by Jessica Rose of Vol.25


5. What are a few things you draw on for inspiration?

Quotes are at the top of my list. One simple quote can be a strong foundation for a really awesome piece of art. I’m also inspired by color palettes and design blogs!

 

6. What are your favorite colors, supplies and locations for creating your art?

Right now I am really inspired by gray tones, with subtle hints of color… 


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Visit "Eye Candy" 

7. Your photo overlay shop is really fantastic, how did you come up with this idea? And what have you enjoyed the most about opening that second shop?

An on-line photographer friend of mine actually pushed me in the direction of selling the overlays (custom shapes. We had just done our family pictures...and a few were against a brick wall. I had been playing with adding my digital artwork onto the wall next to us. When I posted the images to my blog, that same photographer sent me an e-mail asking If I had considered offering something similar for other photographers to “play” with. It took hours upon hours of research learning HOW to create a custom shape… from there the rest just fell into place. I wasn’t sure if there would even be a market for such a thing! As it turns out there were quite a few photographers looking to add a touch of whimsy to their photographs! Shortly after that, I taught myself how to create an album template… and I’ve enjoyed branching out from there. I have an amazing group of photographers supporting me 100% of the way. I’m just one person learning as I go, and so many people have helped shape the style of VOL25 Digital Eye Candy. It is hard to decide what I enjoy most from the digital shop… but probably at the top of the list would be seeing how everyone incorporates my work into they’re own. Beautiful collaborations make me happy! 


 

8. What do you love about life as a blogger…what could you live without?
 

I enjoy looking back on my past posts. I haven't been the greatest at keeping a journal, so it is nice to know that I’m doing that via my blog. I’m not sure there are any negatives yet… I guess I could live without the guilty feeling that creeps up when I haven't posted for at least 3 days! :P

 

9. If you could create a piece of art inspired by a novel or book, what would you choose? 

Hmm… this is a really tough question! This wouldn’t necessarily be my signature style, but someday I would love to be able to draw adorable animal characters similar to the Wind In The Willows… the cozy houses, and adorable clothes that they wear always brings back good memories of being a kid again.

 

10. What is your greatest dream for Vol.25?
     

Honestly at this point in time, I feel like I’ve already done so much more then I ever sought out to do… so I cant ask for more in terms of growth… in fact I’ve had to scale back on things like advertising in my Etsy Shop just to keep things at a manageable level. I’m only one person, and caring for my family is at the top of my priority list. I never want the business to become so big that I lose sight of the important things in life. I would much rather make less money and not have the stress load of more work! But if I had a dream… it would be to have a well lit studio in the upper level of an old craftsman bungalow. It would have sloped ceilings and white wood floors. I would curl up in the corner on a nice fluffy rug, with a bunch of floor pillows, clipboard in hand and draw away. My girls would be at my side with a nice collection of books, or they would be sporting their very own clipboards, stocked with a nice stack of blank white paper.

(note from Jenni: LOVE THIS)

11. You seem to really love interior design as well as art, what room in your home is your favorite…and why? 

I really do enjoy interior design! Right now I think my favorite room would be the girls’ room. Maybe because I got away with painting it a gorgeous pink… or because I am envious of my daughters homework/crafting space… but at any rate it seems like the perfect room! 

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Jessica's daughter and her super cool workspace!

Photo by Jessica Rose of Vol. 25

 

12. Any big projects on the horizon that aren’t top secret? Mind Sharing?
    

I do have big project in the works for the Digital "Eye Candy" Shop. I’ve been sketching props that can be printed and used in photo sessions. It has turned into A LOT more work than I thought it was going to be… but has been so much fun! So, hopefully printable props will be available sometime soon. 

13. What have you learned about yourself since beginning this art journey?

I’ve learned to trust my instincts, and I’ve also learned to have confidence in myself. In the beginning starting out I HAD to believe in myself and my products… now I DO believe in both, without forcing it to happen. I think over time we all learn to trust ourselves a little more!


14. Any silly habits or hobbies you don’t mind telling us about?

A silly habit or hobby? Hmm… I can’t go to bed with socks on… it drives me CRAZY… Not sure if that is considered a habit though? 

 

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"Bound to You" Print by Jessica Rose of Vol. 25

I've (Jenni) got this one hanging in my living room!


15. Finally, any big sister advice for anyone out there seeking to build a Blog or Etsy shop....or both?

Definitely!

For a blog: I would say be consistent, and speak from your heart and don’t try to be someone you aren’t! Everyone will see right through that. Be consistent and confident... and don’t be afraid to advertise! Make sure you know WHO your blog speaks to. Do you post recipes or crafty projects (etc)? I find that if I enjoy reading a particular blog… more often than not my target reader will also be reading the same blog, which makes it a smart advertising option!

For an etsy shop: 
Much of the same applies, I really cant stress focusing on what you enjoy the most. If you HATE knitting hats, but feel like you might be able to make a living out of doing so…I would urge you to reconsider and really think it through. I think the key to having a successful etsy shop is basing it on something you really truly enjoy doing… pay a little bit on advertising from the very beginning, budget it into your start-up costs if you have to, have a powerful brand, and a nice collection of items to start out. Starting (if you do not have one already) a blog is also really important, because it gives people to get to know you, the artist on a more personal level. But most of all- have fun!

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"The Journey" Semi-Customizeable Print Jessica Rose of Vol. 25

 

Once again...PLACES TO CONNECT WITH JESSICA AND VOL.25

THE BLOG . Eye Candy SHOP . Etsy SHOP . FACEBOOK . TWITTER


Thanks so much for reading this month's NW Artist feature. Tune in next month when we feature some lovely glass kiln creations by Beth Reiman! Special thanks to Jessica Rose for hanging out with us for a bit...and remember to stop by the Vol. 25 Etsy Shop and use SAVE25JARFLY as your discount code to save 25% on any print! 1-2-3............GO FOR IT!

New Art....New Hopes.

I spend a good portion of the week enjoying(and being jealous of) many blogs and amazing artists/designers/photographers. In a world full of such great talent...some who are clearly gifted straight from God... how do you keep up? Or at the very least how do you create something that will hit the senses in a new way.

The answer, for most of us, is you don't. 

 Everything has been done before, but the problem is to think of it again  

                      -Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von

I discovered an art studio in Dallas, Texas on line the other day. The artist featured at this small gallery was so intriguing and different, that I was immediately drawn in. I thought to myself, "See! How do some people have such creativity inside them ?!"

To my relief, however, it turned out the studio was not featuring ONE artist, but rather TEN different artists whose work was so similar the gallery curator decided to feature them together to create fluidity. 

Funny eh?

I have so many ideas, dreams and visions for my business.In spite of this...it's hard to not sometimes feel like you're missing the train. Being a scrappy self trained artist, I am often playing "catch up" from week to the next. I certainly feel both inspired and destroyed all at the same time when I encounter a self taught artist with unlimited ability (like my friend Natalie Groves, for example :)

Okay, so I'm being a bit dramatic. The truth is, I love seeing new art and great artists... as it only inspires me to be better and work harder.

But there are days when I want my blog to be what it has yet to be. There are moments when I long for a store front, a big break, better resources....or just more TIME. Some days I'm exhausted as I seek to keep up with social networking, real life networking, and just being a decent human being. I'm sure most bloggers, small business owners, artists and dreamers can relate to that much.

 

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So right now, as I lay in my bed on a lazy, hazy morning... I can honestly say there is nothing more that I can accomplish for the day besides what I've done. I re-vamped some old art. I made it look a little cleaner... a little more modern. And NOW it's time to go pay the bills and work.

In the end, I just hope one person thinks what I worked hard to create is pretty. Or rad. Or something positive. And even better that they would want to buy it...though one of the latter makes me just as happy.

Hats off to all of you out there working against the grain to get paid for something you actually love. Keep up the good work. It's like what I read in a book the other day, "Give me the same thing....only different". 

We will try our hardest. Yes we will.

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The Secret Garden Invitation: Sneak Peak

Well, I've been plugging away on the storybook inspired digital invitation downloads....here's my newest design. I'm not quite finished with it...have some work to do on textures and color, but on the whole, I'm happy with how it turned out. Make sure to check out my Etsy Shop to see how you can purchase more storybook inspired designs! 

The great thing about a digital download is....

1. It's cost effective

2. You are allowed power to create your invites, but just offered    a great design to "jump" off with

3. Most of my designs are semi customize-able. 

Planning a wedding...want to design your own invitations without ALL the work? Contact me!

Secret Garden invite

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My First Love: Paper

Jarfly has been receiving a lot of visitors from all over the U.S and many different parts of the world in recent weeks. After years of trying, I suppose that means I'm finally starting to get somewhere with this little blog...though I still have a long way to go.

For all the new friends passing by the site, I wanted to do a little collage paying homage to my first love, which is paper goods. I've done some experimenting with digital creations, vintage rentals and other endeavors lately. However, the thing I really enjoy is drawing. On paper. With an actual pen. All these pieces were done at least partly with real ink...or completely with ink and watercolor. There you have it:

Collage