Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Going Live! Share to Keep an Art Journal

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keep an Art Journal - Room to Create 2

Here you can see what I was talking about in the previous post I'll try to describe going clockwise from about 11:00.

1. single-item-depth shelf above treadmill
2. acres of table space looking at pegboard corner
3. Same as 2 only you can see the top of the new wheely-drawer behind the stool
4. Wire drawers with finished work, sewing machine as well as pin board above
5. Wider view of 4
6. part of clothes line, top of rolls in bucket, treadmill as paper holder, single depth shelf, large shelves and in the distance small shelf of large items

Having the clutter in manageable spaces inspires me to clear the table at night and to put out new stuff to begin every day - isn't that we want?
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Keep an Art Journal - Room to create

I decided to do whatever it takes/took to clear off my workspace - my 10 foot table - in such a way that I could have more than a square foot of workspace. I have been meaning to put up this pegboard for the entire summer. Finally got it cut, painted and sanded a month ago and NOW it is up and loaded. This was just the beginning. I cleared rolls of paper and other necessary items into standing buckets and waste baskets. Added a shelf above my treadmill that is one-item deep and easy to reach, added a large paint storage shelf and sorted ephemera to bottles, jugs and jars. Also made a clothes line arrangement for prepped paper in between uses. I did splurge and buy a second set of plastic-wheely drawers and have moved my rubber stamps into it. I have had stamps 6 inches deep in bins and have no idea what I have or where - no longer true! Also reorganized my semi-organized wire drawers so I can find things. Decided it is okay to have things stand on the sideboards as I don't need to work there.

ALL this allowed for my table to emerge to the point I could put a clean paper cover on it. Now the real work begins - changing habits so that I actually put things away at the end of the day or the end of the project. It has been a week and so far I am putting 90% of my things away each night. There are always the things that need to dry sitting out and usually a few things awaiting processing the next day but overall I suddenly have expansive room to create!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Handpainted Pages with Tape Added

In my last post I said I would show you the pages inside the second handmade journal. Since then I had to uninstall and reinstall the photo software - and I had a big case of Idonwannas.

Now it is done and I am very pleased to show you the inside of this journal. I usually hand tear my pages and leave a deckled edge, but for some reason I couldn't get these pages torn to my satisfaction. Luckily for me I have recently discovered decorative tape which is the white lacy stuff you see here! The tape also comes with black lace.( to buy)

The second set of pages you see has a different decorative tape that has script on a clear background. This tape furthers my ongoing experiment with using script or text for interest and depth. I love the effect. I found this tape on Etsy at the direction of my current art journaling mentor Kelly Kilmer.

The e-mail address for this tape is I cannot remember the Etsy name though. I also have a transparent tab/extension on this spread of pages to the right which just makes the next page sooooo inviting. When I write and collage this page I will turn the book so that the extension is on the top of the page. Then the vertical lines in the page will be there for script! And no one will be able to just flip through the book without pause.

Now the question is should I give this journal to my sister for her birthday? Even if I am not sure that she would use it? Or even if she wants something more to dust lying around on a shelf? This is where I am stuck right now.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making Your Art Journals - Recycle and Reuse

This is the second journal I have handmade on my own - I LOVE it! I took a class in which I learned how to reuse an old book cover and paint, collage and bind it, into a beautiful work of art that anyone would be proud to carry around, work in or just look at.

I have spent a lifetime looking like a church lady just because my hair is curly and my figure is prim. I have a practical bent that talks me out of outrageous clothing and flashy cars. But when I get to my art table I can see no reason to be practical. If I were going to be practical I would just go buy the sturdiest journal that would serve my purposes.

So for this cover I painted the binding tape a mix of Lumiere's metallic rust and halo pink gold acrylic paint. The book boards are the same metallic rust, and the grid tape is painted Golden's Copper Acrylic. Then I decided to make dingle-bobs on the binding thread and to put them on the outside. They will probably tangle and be in the way, but oh, they look so cool. I got my husband to help me drill a hole in some Austrian Pfennigs and used one of them as a dingle-bob, I also used some bronze beads and charms from Vintag. Oh and I had a pearl laying right there so I tied it on too.

This journal has hand-painted pages in it and I will show them in another post...I must go get some journaling done so I can finish my current journal and start using one of my new ones.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An Altered Book Art Journal

Ah software - the band on the left of each picture is actually the top and the grid tape will go down the left side.

This is the first altered book journal cover I have made on my own. I took a class in July, with Kelly Kilmer but since the journal I made then is still being filled, I haven't tried making another cover on my own.

This cover is beautiful, but it isn't perfect. I made the space between the two book boards too narrow so the book will not be one that lies flat when the pages are added and filled up. I could do it over, but I think I will just learn from it and make another and put the lesson to better use. Re-dos never work for me anyway.

I still have to sew in the pages and have to wait for my waxed linen thread to arrive in the mail...the pages are painted and standing by.

I'll post the art journal again when the pages are in - stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Chases Me in Circles?

When in a mode of procrastination my creativity declines, slumps, goes stagnant I don't care how you say it. On days where I am more behind than usual I get less productive.

With the days getting shorter and the morning sun coming through my window later and later, I can easily get side-tracked into a 'normal' pace.

My morning practices (and my morning) go better when done before other folk are moving around the house. They are quiet practices. Meditation, writing, and a quick walk around the hood. If I am up very long before I begin my practices my mind gets the upper hand telling me about chilliness, darkness and just this once.

If I get to the meditation before I can really think (but after I brush my teeth) I know my day will be more productive, which means I'll be itching to paint, glue and write by the time I get a chance to do it. Then procrastination and putting off aren't even an issue.

Well I think I got sidetracked right there - I notice that the more I put things off the harder it is to get up in the morning. If I don't get up EARLY in the morning I miss my daily set up. When I miss my set up I don't have the energy to tackle the icky stuff and then it builds up in my mind, gains weight so to say. Then the next obvious step is to the 'put it off''s a vicious circle is all I'm saying.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

Why I Art Journal
I had an idea that I would like to use some old ledger pages for collaging and decided to add a new ledger page that would tally all the things that I use and use up on a daily basis. Since it was on ledger paper I added up the new tally and came to a grand total of $37.00 give or take a few pennies. On a side note, I thought of several things that I did not add to the list that I use on a daily basis. Like I did not add in the daily amount of utilities and phone costs and car gasoline consumed just to make it through my day. So back to the $37.00. I was mucking about looking for a focal point and thought this bag with a gold Sacajawea dollar in it would look good on the page and was busily attaching it when my eye fell on the image of the little African child licking a minute amount of food from his/er fingers so as not to miss a single bit of meal.
Feed this child for $5.00 a month.
According to this my daily consumption - DAILY - would feed this child for seven months or seven children for a month...What will it take for me to lower my consumption by $5.00 a day? Could I do it and sponsor one child a day for a year? The thought is staggering.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Keep an Art Journal in the Great Outdoors!

Here is the story and accompanying picture from the camping trip - different from my 'at home' work, but still quite fun.
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Keep an Art Journal Plein Air

Camping is a way for me to reconnect
with the universe and the natural world. Normally I only take my writing journal and wait until I'm home to let the art out.

It seemed such a shame to let the long unscheduled hours to drift by without any art journaling at all that I decided that I could at least do a little bit, at least prep a few pages. I forgot about such things as wind, no running water, ants and drifting leaves and blowing dust.

Even though I didn't attempt anything using my normal acrylic paints and collaging, I was able to make a couple of satisfying pages with the water color pencils and Sharpie water-based poster paint pens. I never have enough
good reading material when I go off into the mountains I so have to make up snippets of my own, something I would love to find in
a book at the library.

I am having trouble uploading another picture so I will fool this
software and get it in another way...hope it doesn't look too out
of order.

Here is the happy camper journaling away bundled up for pre-breakfast coffee in the cool mountain air.

I think everyone would benefit from getting away from the everydayness of life and get a little uncomfortable and inconvenient in order to be in a place that's beauty is so big that it expands any mortal wishing to rise.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Signature Page

Remember that yummy paper I bought - see one of the posts from August 21 - well I have decided to mainly use it for the inside the journal covers I make. It is so scrumptious I don't want to cover it up!

I am trying out a few ideas for a signature stamp ala Prince. I have in mind making a large round stamp and then use it to sign books etc. when I'm famous! Here are the three I like best on my signature page.

I want my signature to remind me (mostly) and others to have direction, and the direction I am striving for on a moment-to-moment basis is Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy. Yes, I know another song.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Keeping an Art Journal on the Road

This is a different journal, one in which I have painted and stamped on and dried in advance. Then on a trip I can fill it in with events and ephemera picked up on the way.

I can't stand the thought of paint in my car, but we snipped and glued and collected pictures at every rest stop.

On the way home we also added stickers that we picked up in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park that do not show here. Always ask for stickers, you would be amazed how many ice cream parlors, sweet shops and other places have their own stickers!

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Sharing Food for Thought

Sharing for me is a way of being. I believe I exist in what I share, whether it is conversation, art or food. I have a very practical helpmeet that grounds me in the reality of life that I need to have it before I share picky.

This page uses my own 'made' papers as well as some little mosaic tiles I found somewhere. It is also another sample of the water-based poster paint pens by Sharpie...I understand they are a discontinued product so I will stock up.

I don't know if it comes through that I also love to share my values. See the post below for a look at the page with the flap lifted for the items I don't share.
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Sharing with Flap Up

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Childhood Friends

When I was 12 I ran into Bilbo Baggins, introduced by my friend Janet Meddings. We were at the stage where we were in love with the Beatles and the Hobbits captured our imaginations. I was sucked into Middle Earth and no matter what I said, I could not get my friends and family to read the 'fairy tales.' It was very frustrating.

When my niece was 4 years old I read the entire four books to her out loud, a chapter a day. My dad and mom as well as my sister would listen in. We moved away and my mom said that my dad went to the library and checked out the entire trilogy and they read it together.

I read the series aloud again when my daughter was very young and the audience was her and my niece again, then I read it aloud again to my daughter and my son. A chapter a night.

I would love to meet both Bilbo and Frodo and go on adventures with them and then come home and write the adventures down in my journal - just as Bilbo did.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keep an Art Journal Experiment

The experiment of a script layer seems to have worked a little better in this page. This time the song Try to Remember or maybe it's The Days of September or !@#$#%$@! it's probably Follow - aside, I'm having a Dory moment, I refuse to have senior moments...

Ahem, where was I, the song script seems to be more visible for this page although I used the same translucent paper. And I do think it adds quite a bit of depth. I will go look at some paper in person and see if vellum or something else is available that is more translucent without being transparent.

I think every year could have a 13th month.

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Treasures Found

I took the picture of this page before I finished it.

Sand dollars have always seemed miraculous and mysterious to me. How come the flower pattern? Or is it a star? The delicate and intricate pattern on each shell is incredible and I am assuming, like snowflakes, no two are identical. Mind boggling!

I keep sand dollars where I can see them and be reminded daily of the infinity and perfection of the universe I inhabit.
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Old Enough

I was trying to layer writing in as it's own "depth charge." I wrote the entire song the
12th of Never in tiny script and then put a translucent overlay. I should have used transparent. In another post below Beginner's Mind I used tissue with script with the same experiment in mind. I will just say that the experiment continues.

This will now be my new birthday and the song will be the new birthday song requirement.
Happy Birthday.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who I Am 1

I am going to do a series of Who I am and see what that reveals. At first I didn't really care for the dark colors and flat, matte surfacing of this page, but it is growing on
me. Of course I couldn't find the Spanish dictionary I keep for this purpose, only the French and English. So I put in a French Bulldog as a nod to my French-Huegenot background as well as my tenacity.

Double Page Display

I love bridging two pages and two subjects with a focal point. It is kind of like putting a mirror on the wall to enlarge a room. My favorite play images and my sentimental journey are easily bridged by the fun image of Max - it seems to give continuity from my childhood to my present life.

When the Fog Lifts

The last year BC (before children) we lived in the coastal range above Refugio Beach on one side and Lake Cachuma on the other. Our property was surrounded by Los Padres National Forest and from one side we looked down into the Santa Ynez Valley and from the other we looked down on the ocean if the fog lifted and went out to sea.

That was the beginning of our bird watching life too. The danger of fire in the chaparral and the deteriorating road final sent us off to another even more remote site. Keeping an Art Journal can easily return you to the adventures of your youth even when you aren't old (LOL). My daughter is now in her thirties and my son is close behind.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Keep an Art Journal to DeClutter

De Clutter is in De Can

Journaling about things I keep really got me looking around at what I keep and why.

I have a lot of things to do my work (office machines, files, phones) maintain my presentation (nail polish etc), support my hobbies (piano and music books) books, and books, and books. Oh yes and an art studio. So I have a lot of things not necessary to my survival that are useful, but I have just as many things that have sort of drifted in and made a home for themselves. Each with its own coating of dust I might add.

The journaling got me moving and this past two weeks I have sent 4 large garbage sacks to various charities, listed hundreds of books on and e-bay and dusted and dusted.

It felt easy, a relief even. The stacks of books and journals that were stealing all my desk space now have plenty of room on - GASP – the bookshelves!
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Keep an Art Journal - Paper online

Today my new

papers came in the mail. I normally

make my own paper backgrounds with paint and collage, but I found a scrap of beautiful paper at the last class I took and used it in one of my journal pages. I sleuthed out the name of the company and then found the actual papers. And for the first time I bought decorative paper online!

K & Company make these papers and I finally found them online at

Two Peas in a Bucket. The name of the design line is Que Sera Sera, and there are textured papers, glittering papers and flat papers. The papers are designed for scrapbooking so come in the 12 X 12 format. I will use them for inside covers in my next altered book and art journals and any leftover scrap will definitely find its way into the interior of the book.

flat papers - click image to enlarge

Beginner's Mind - Keep an Art Journal

(click image to make it larger)

I was trying to figure out why these pictures were so compelling to me and looked up a wiki for Self Actualization.

Check it out - it may improve your self talk, self image, self esteem. I may be falling short, but I am on a mighty quest.

The blossoms are from the orchid plant on Carol’s kitchen window sill so they are doubly dear. Silly to try to put dried flowers in an Art Journal or an Altered Book, they are just too fragile. I did it anyway and then spent a week coming up with something to protect them (hopefully). I finally ended up cutting up the shopping bag from Two Hands Paperie, it was the best thing I got there! The problem then is that you cannot actually see the page being protected unless you are there to pick up the covering. I’ll see if I can get another picture with the cover lifted as I think the page itself says a lot.

And here is the real advantage and beauty in keeping an art journal, combining several elements that speak to the real me also gives the world access to the real me. Kind of like standing around with your protective covering lifted up.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Inspirational Words

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Mixed Media Monday Challenge
Unfinished Journal cover