Tissue Painting Intro still

Thank you for joining me for this workshop!
Creating backgrounds can be easy and fun!

Below is a video greeting:

The password for the video is: background




Navigating & Troubleshooting the Classroom

You can find your account information on the main menu under SHOP or ONLINE WORKSHOPS and then MY ACCOUNT.  From there you can view your information, create a new password, and view your purchases.  The order information has all the links to the workshops you have purchased as well.
MAKE SURE TO BOOKMARK THIS URL ADDRESS AND SAVE YOUR LINK AND PASSWORD- this is how you will be able to get into the class – You will have access to the class as long as I have it available and you have the link and password. The class content will be available indefinitely.



There are several lessons for each class. They do not all appear on one page. Please go to the “Lessons” in the right side-bar column to click on the lesson title to access the desired lesson. Enjoy taking the lessons at your own pace.


videopicpass VIDEO PASSWORD
Each of the videos have a password for viewing right below the video box- look just look below the box and you will see the password you need to type in. This is the only password that will work to allow you to view the video. It is not the same as the class entry password.


All the videos are uploaded through Vimeo and are working, so if you are experiencing a problem, freezing up, not playing, text saying invalid password- there is likely an issue on your end. Please make sure to check your internet connection to make sure it is working. If it is slow, it will take awhile for the videos to load- you will be able to see a grey bar moving across the video as it loads.

Also make sure to check your internet settings

this can be the problem when you cannot view a video. Different versions and updates can affect your video viewing. If your settings were changed or if you are using a different browser this could also be the problem. I typically used Safari and didn’t have any trouble until one day the audio didn’t work in the Vimeo videos. After some research, I learned that it also happened for some people using Firefox. When I cleared the cache and removed the cookies, it worked after that. To learn how to do that, I googled “how to clear cache in Safari” etc. and followed the instructions. I also downloaded Chrome, and now use it instead of Safari.


If you are still having trouble viewing the videos, sometimes there may be an issue with the Flash player, and you may need to switch between the HTML player and the Flash player for the video.
To do that:
If you’re using Chrome or Safari, you’ll see a link directly below the video on a clip page that will allow you to switch between players
If you’re currently using the Flash player, you’ll see a link that says ‘Switch to HTML5 player.’
If you’re currently using the HTML5 player, you’ll see a link that says ‘Switch to Flash player.’
By clicking the link, you’ll automatically start using that player
If you continue to have trouble viewing a video, contact Vimeo directly using their Contact form at: https://vimeo.com/help/contact


exclamationAll of the content and images of this course are copyright Valerie Sjodin. The class is for personal use only, not for commercial use, and not meant to be distributed or reproduced outside of the class including how to classes, magazine articles, pinning to Pinterest, posting step-by-step process on your blog, etc. I share my process in detail and have worked years to develop how-to steps that achieve my own style. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Pinning and publishing any in-class information, links or images will result in being removed from the class.

My hope is that you will be inspired and the how-to instructions will help you develop your own personal style, to make art like beautiful you, not another me. Branch out, have fun, try new things with your art. We each have our own voice and they all need to be heard, or seen in this case.

The music you hear in the background in some of the demos is written and played by Bobby Puckett©, a promising, young musician.


facebook-icon-110x38We have a Facebook group for this class Beautiful Backgrounds 1 and would love to have you join us. It is a closed group, and only participants will be able to view the postings.

Here are the steps to join:
1. Sign into Facebook using your email and password
2. In the search bar type in: Beautiful Backgrounds 1
3. Choose our group from the list that will drop down
4. At the right of the page, next to the gear and magnifying glass symbols, it says “join group”. Click on “join group.”
5. Because it is a closed group, your request will need to be approved by an administrator. Please allow about 48 hours for your request to be processed.
6. To see and get into the group from your Facebook account, click on your “home” page and the group should be listed in the left sidebar under GROUPS.
7. Click on the group and it will get you into our group Facebook page.
8. You can introduce yourself and comment in the window that says: Write Post. You can also add images by clicking on the “Add Photo/Video”


Gathering at WorkshopIn the Facebook group, please post only material that is relevant to the group. I want to acknowledge that art making is a vulnerable act and one of my goals for this group is that it will be encouraging and each person feels it is a safe environment to share their art and ideas.

Feel free to blog about the course, and if you do, please let me know and link to my website, but please do not share my step-by-step processes. Feel free to share links to your blog or website on our Facebook Group page. It’s a great way to connect with people, share art journals and get inspired. Please refrain from promoting, selling or advertising your products or other classes in the class comments and Facebook group.

If you have questions, or comments you want to share about the class itself, please leave a comment on the bottom of the lesson page rather than or in addition to the Facebook group. They are often helpful to all those in the class, and not everyone is on Facebook.


———- SUPPLIES ———-

penpaper-pdfHere is a supply list and you can print off as PDF if you would like to. There is another PDF with Notes on Acrylic Paints, and one on How to Make a Simple Journal from a Sheet of Watercolor Paper. Click on the links below for PDF versions. The links are also found in the right sidebar.





I like to use quality art supplies, but they can get expensive. So I also use office supplies and quite a few household supplies that are inexpensive or generally around the house. I’ve divided the supply list up into sections. The first section included supplies that will likely be just at the art supply store. I like to order from Blick. The second section includes household items to be found at the dollar, grocery store, craft/sewing store, or around the house.

What you need to make  a journal out of watercolor paper:

Supplies for making journal

If you are making a journal out of watercolor paper you will need: 

  • 1 full Sheet of Watercolor Paper 22″ x 30″: Fabriano 140 lb, either hot
    press or soft press (each sheet makes one 8”x10” journal)
  • Metal Ruler preferably with a cork back
  • Bone Folder (the side of a pair of scissors will work, but the bone folder is
    much better)
  • Push pin or awl for making holes in journal
  • Button or carpet thread, or bookbinding thread
  • Needle with a big enough eye for heavy thread to go through
  • Pencil
  • 2 Clips for holding pages in place while sewing (optional)

Here is a photo of all the supplies you will need to paint your journal with Beautiful Background techniques. The supplies for each individual lesson are listed and shown in the individual lesson pages:

supply photo-backgrounds

Below is the list of what you will need (including the supplies to make journal) for Beautiful Backgrounds supplies. You can also print off the pdf in the link above the supply video.

Art and Office Supplies:

  • 1 full sheet of Watercolor Paper 22″ x 30″: Fabriano 140 lb, either hot press or soft press (each sheet makes one 8”x10” journal) You will only need one for the workshop, but you may want to experiment with another
  • Paints: 5 Colors Acrylic Paint, preferably Golden brand fluid acrylic paints not counting white or black in colors you would like to use in your journal. You will get more vibrant results if at least three of these are transparent colors. Also Titanium white and a Black if you want to use that too. See my notes on paints attached to the bottom of the Supply List PDF.
  • Brushes: Any acrylic or mixed media brushes should work. A large inexpensive flat brush about 2″ wide works great for most of the techniques here. For more refined work you may want: one small round brush and one medium round that comes to a good point, one flat brush, and one 1-2” flat or filbert brush for spreading matte medium. Any favorite brushes you like. Do not buy the black watercolor brushes, they are too floppy for what we do in this class.
  • Two templates/stencils (or more) for using as masks for backgrounds or subject matter.
  • Punchenella or other mark-making stencil type patterning material
  • Craft/Butcher Paper (non-waxy). Copy paper is smaller so it’s limiting but will also work for printing/painting papers
  • Bone Folder
  • Metal Ruler, preferably with a cork back
  • Matte Medium
  • Acrylic Glazing Liquid
  • Gesso, regular white (optional)
  • Pencil

Household and Miscellaneous Items: (insert photo of supplies above this line)

  • Palette/s – may use paper plates
  • Protective covering for table such as plastic table cloth
  • Freezer paper (waxy on one side, for painting tissue paper on)
  • White tissue paper (available at most stores such as target, in the gift wrap section.) It must have a shinier side. The dull cheaper kind from Costco doesn’t work as it breaks down when water gets on it.)
  • Toothbrush for optional spattering, can be used and cleaned
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Push pin or awl for making holes in journal
  • Button or carpet thread, or bookbinding thread
  • Needle with a big enough eye for heavy thread to go through
  • Water container
  • Paper towels
  • Found papers for Collage such as: Sheet Music, Dictionary pages, any text pages etc.
  • Spray bottle for water
  • 3 or more Small spray bottles, empty 2 oz. size, found in travel section of stores. I bought mine online at: http://www.abundanthealth4u.com/Travel_Spray_Bottles_s/316.htm









  1. Judy

    I’m really excited about taking the class. Especially online.

  2. Leone

    I am excited too, Judy, I have been looking at these classes for a long time and finally took the plunge today.

    • Welcome Leone! I hope you find inspiration here. Many creative blessings to you!

  3. Terri

    My THIRD class now…. Accumulating knowledge so far. Have watched most of the videos numerous times and have actually made my journal!! Not sewed yet, but made!! I think after backgrounds, I’ll be ready to dive in!!

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