Art from the Oven – Blast from the Past


I have a billion old art magazines taking up WAY too much space in my life. Maybe you do too and you will recognize this scenario:

Go through a magazine, see two or three items of interest, turn down the page corners, put the magazine away. Wait years before you pick it up again, look at the marked pages, realize that you forgot about that interesting thing entirely, consider tossing the magazine away, don’t throw it away because now you remember there is something of interest in there. Put the magazine back on the stack.

Sound familiar? Soon the Hoarder Police are knocking on your studio door.

Then, maybe, you go through a few of those magazines, tear out the interesting articles, and recycle or gift what’s left. Stack those articles in a drawer, or maybe even file them – and they are never seen again. But, they’re taking less space at least. Remember what was in that interesting article? Not.

I love my iPad for so many reasons, but here is another way it has changed my life.

Now, I take a photo of that interesting article with my iPad, paste it into a journal called “Snippits” that I keep on my iPad, add a couple keywords so I can find it later, and recycle the paper magazine.

My Snippits Journal becomes one big magazine that has only the things I found noteworthy in a hundred paper magazine.

Space saved – priceless.

And the photos the iPad shoots of the magazine page are amazing – just as good as a scan!

So, the tip about using the oven to melt embossing powder at the beginning of this post is from my Snippits Journal. See how clear and easy to read?

I also started emptying drawers full of clippings and torn out pictures. I just lay them on the desk and snap a photo with the iPad.

And you know how torn out articles have those rough edges and get all crinkled up?

Once I have them on my iPad, those rough edges don’t mean a thing, and they don’t get any more wrinkles either! I bet you recognize the author of this article . . . she is coming to visit for a week!! Tonight!! I am so excited!

And . . . you can zoom in on the photo to read it better.

Now, that first tip about using the oven to melt embossing powder brings me to a question I have.

Have you found melted embossing powder to stand the test of time? I’m talking about the regular stuff, not the Ultra.

I make a lot of cards for the gallery and could do some interesting effects with EP, but I hesitate. Some embossed things from years ago have gone dull and have to be reheated to shine again.

Reheating won’t be an option for a card that gets sold.

Embossing powder came from the process called thermography (poor man’s engraving), with which they would make the business cards with the raised printing years ago. I still have some of those business cards and they are fine, but many pieces I made with the stampers embossing powders, especially the clear, have not fared so well. What has your experience been?

Thank you for your enthusiastic response to my new book.

I hope you are all out there with your pencils looking a flower in the face!!

Here is the link again if you haven’t seen it:

Draw Simple Flowers

24 thoughts on “Art from the Oven – Blast from the Past

  1. Jeanne

    Whoa! You have been peeking into my file cabinet, boxes, folders, and baskets! Either that or I’m a clone! :-D What an INCREDIBLE idea! Yes, I too have bucketloads of articles, designs, ideas, sayings, etc., and they are all over the place—except neatly organized and keyworded so I can find them readily. I am so going to do this. I am right in the middle of a huge purge of stuff, but I could not make myself get rid of my old Southwest Art magazines. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Jerrie

    Now you have me yearning for an iPad 3!!! When you get an iPad 4……….
    Can I buy your 3? (;>>>) many, many grins!!!!!!

  3. Sue Cutter

    Wowie! I am so there! I’ve been trying to organize my studio, and keep finding these snippets. Semi-organized as they already are, they still take up way too much space. This may be the answer.

    One question: Is this storage method going to use up an inordinate amount of memory?

  4. jessica Post author

    No, Sue, surprisingly not. My main Journaling app, in which I keep over 25 journals with lots of photos, including the 60 page flower drawing book, has current storage of only 303 mb. You back up by storing that data on your computer using file sharing in iTunes.

    You can also export a whole journal as a PDF and those turn out pretty hefty (for a PDF anyway), but that is not iPad space. The flower book was 83 mb and I was able to reduce it to 8mb using Acrobat.

    So storage space is absolutely not an issue.

    I have taught my iPad students how to use two Journaling apps so far and I will let you know which Workbooks they are in when I release the next Workbooks to the public next week.

    Jerrie – do you have an iPhone? You can take the shots with. It and then Dropbox or dump them straight to your iPad.

  5. Barbara L

    I keep looking for reasons to buy an Ipad other than “why do you need a reason”. This may be the answer. (smile, smile) As for embossed pieces looking good over time, I have not had good results over the years and have just about stopped using any ep other than UTEE.

  6. susan w

    Storing those clippings etc. in Evernote makes everything searchable, including handwritten notes. It is a terrific and free resource ( I’m not an employee of Evernote but I use it all the time – it’s wonderful for doing clippings from web sites as well.

  7. Pam Yee

    I know you lived in MI and methinks MAYBE you looked into my studio that has SO MUCH ROOM taken up by folders of images. I, too, used to save the magazine, then realized taking out the images would save oh so much space!! Well, folders and pizza boxes of images take up LOTSA space too. I don’t have an IPad, but see one on the horizon (after my iPhone). My DH will not believe how much square footage he will be able to see and walk around in!!! Just wait… Of course, I do have an extra laptop that I could fill up or one of my external HDs. Hmmm, let me get a few things done and then – Thanks Jess!!

  8. Nena


    I went looking for the app and could not find it using Snippits in the search. Is there another name to look/search for in the App Store.

    My “torn out and saved” in notebooks has taken up several bookshelves and the idea of being able to store it all electronically and retrieve it easily is really nice!


  9. mo

    hey, wait a minute, have been lurking around and peeking thru my windows?! how else would you know i do that same thing with my art/journaling/rubber stamp magazines? and i’m now in the process of clearing them out, giving some away and sending others to the library or to someplace where someone else can benefit from them. what a fabulous idea, to take a snapshot with the iPad … who’d a thunk it? oh wait, that would be YOU! another of your mind blossoms ;)

    same with scraps of paper with little things you want to hang on to … found a plethora of them today while sorting thru a stack of crap, er-r, important papers on my desk. love the idea of take a pic and saving it electronically.

    thanks, as always, for thinking of these things in the first place and then sharing them with us, your readers/students. love it!


  10. jessica

    HI Nena,
    LOL – Snippets is not an app – just the name of my journal I use for this – sorry to not clarify that.

    I do have a favorite journaling app and I wrote a whole manual on it – one of the Workbooks in the iPad Studio, which I will be releasing for individual purchase next week sometime. The developers of the app liked the manual so much, they are going to link to it as soon as I release it.

    I have tried Evernote a bunch of times and I just can’t get comfy with it. Not intuitive for me and the way I work. I know it’s very popular so I keep giving it another try, but so far, no go.

  11. Suzanne B

    I don’t have an ipad or iphone, but have been utilizing my scanner this way now the past year to get rid of the paper trail. Such a good idea! Still so much to go though, but it’s better.

  12. Louise W

    Now, I don’t have an iPad or iPhone, but just yesterday I was thinking I need to get my personal important paperwork together and scan them and add a file to my desktop for easy access for just in case. But this same thing would work great for all those little bits and pieces of things I also collect, push into a pile, and eventually throw out!

  13. debbiejl

    OMG! My husband is going to LOVE you!! I love this idea… cant wait to get home and start playing!!!

  14. Jerrie

    I’m still in the dark ages! I don’t have an iPhone, YET!
    Jerry as a “smartish” phone that his work gave him & loves it! Maybe, one of these years!

  15. Nena

    Thanks Jessica. I have an iPhone and we have an iPad. He wanted the new one and tried to give me the original one. I said no dice. He bought the first one and then said we could “share”… in other words I could look at it but not mess with any of the settings that were set to suit him. The idea of using the iPad to help organize and finally cull all the paper piling up makes the idea of buying my own iPad a bit more enticing. Hummm, wait for the new version or buy now… that is the question!


  16. jessica

    HI Nena, Buy now. There will be a new iPhone in the Fall, but there aren’t even any rumors about a new iPad – probably not til next Spring or Summer.

    HOWEVER, there is a question of overkill. It will take a long time for me to need more than this iPad3 has got – except for maybe more storage. But, remember, because of my teaching, I am using a lot more storage than a normal person would.

  17. jessica

    Jerrie – I have an idea for you. If you had that attachment that allows a camera to connect to your iPad via USB ($29), you could just plug in your camera and do the same thing. Just set the camera on Macro for close-up (or Document if there is a setting like that), and shoot away. Plug your camera’s cord, or its SD card if it uses one, into your iPad and import your shots into the Photos gallery on the iPad.

    The link for that iPad accessory is here:

  18. Anne Lloyd

    I agree with susanw about Evernote, and encourage Jessica to give it another look. The brand new update for iOS now has “page camera” for photographing documents. It’s soecificslly designed for the new Moleskine Evernote journals, but will work with any document. This gives you the ability to automatically group all pages of an article in a single note. So, if we actually tried (!) the project detailed in an article we saved, we could add a photo of our own work of art, add audio or written notes about what worked well and any modifications, some brand new idea inspired by this article, etc. Evernote’s Skitch lets you annotate the document images you shoot. Evernote has full text search from images (even handwriting) and tagging…syncs on your mobile devices and computer…works pretty automatically…I could go on. This is a great example of “perfect timing” – Jessica’s post and Evernote’s upgrade.

  19. jessica Post author

    HI Anne, You tempt me to give it another try. Skitch I do like and in fact, I have included it in my workshop. Sounds like the latest improvements may bring Evernote closer to my needs list. Thanks!

  20. Nancy

    Have not bought my iPad yet, and I know myself, I will still like to keep a hard copy, so what I do is tear out the page of interest that I want to keep and put it in a clear protector sheet (aka top loading sheet) and put them in a binder of art ideas.
    Love all the ideas you have and share – your creative brain will always amaze me! Big hug!
    Santa Fe

  21. Celeste

    Thanks for the brilliant ideas and your generosity in sharing it.
    A quick note – i think there is a typo in the first line of the draw flowers workbook:
    “This is the first in a series of workbooks that seek to simplified the drawing of complicated things.”

    Shoudn’t it read ” to simplify”

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