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Art Journal: Backlog

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I’ve gotten behind on posting photos of Art Journal pages I’ve made.  I try to share them as I make them, but don’t always manage to do that. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Untitled, 8/11/13

This was inspired by a picture on Pinterest and when I followed the link, I found My Flower Journal, Tammy Northrup’s blog with beautiful splattered painting art.

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Tiny flowers are punched from textbook pages, painted different colors and glued onto a gesso and acrylic painted page. The meadow is made almost entirely from splattered paint dots.

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I used black and white pen to add details to the flower stems and leaves.

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Leap of Faith, Date Unknown (early 2014)

I don’t remember where I found this wonderful quote, but I love it!

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I’ve had this picture, torn out of magazine, for ages. It works well with the quote, don’t you think?

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A man in a flying machine along with some definitions torn from the dictionary and I had a page.

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Bendy Bodies, Date Unknown (early 2014)

Mostly from Athleta ads torn from magazines.  I have a very inflexible body but I’m fascinated by the strength and flexibility shown in these pictures.

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Collaged Hills and Mountains, Date Unknown (early 2014)

I probably didn’t share this before because I’m a little ambivalent about it. This was the inspiration.  I don’t think mine was as effective.  White space at the top would probably have helped, and sharper images with greater contrast.

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Leaf Forms, August 4, 2014

Sometimes I look through my collection of ephemera (housed in a variety of plastic zippered sleeves, a tin box, a large basket and a shoebox) and find items that go together.  Maybe I’ve had one piece for a long time and I see something else and remember that first one and know they will work well together.  Other times I just start working on a page without really knowing where I’m headed.

The end result may be what I set out to create or something that I worked on layer by layer and bit by bit until it seems finished. For this page I wanted to use the large leaf skeleton on the right, so I looked for things that would go with it. But don’t ask about that #13, because I really don’t know how it ended up here, but it did, and I like it.

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Our Lady of the Roses, October 10, 2014

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I’ve had this picture of a stained statue for a long time.  When I embroidered a feather to use on a page the month before, I started looking for other images that would work with embroidered embellishment.  I needed to add a fold down flap to the page to have enough space to fit this in my journal.

The title has faux stitching made with dots of black ink joined by slightly curved lines made with a teal marker.

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I added a halo with embroidery floss.

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Dia di los Muertos, October  11, 2014

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I saw a project to do with kids using copied photos of their own faces (copy photos on copier, increase to approximately life-sized if photo is smaller), painted into a Dia di los Muertos mask.  I just pulled a picture from an ad in a magazine and created my own. I liked how the glamorous model became anonymous under the layer of paint.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

At Sea Ranch I sit and watch the ocean and sky out the window.  This is an attempt to capture what I love to look at.

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Blue Décollage, March 4, 2015

This page is from an exercise in The Collage Workbook, How to Get Started and Stay Inspired by Randel Plowman.

The exercise is to create a collage by layering pieces of paper on top of each other and the before the glue sets, tearing off the top layers to reveal what is underneath. As is typical, I reread the directions and examined the photos in the book more carefully after trying out the method.  I realized I started with too many small pieces, but it was an interesting process and I may try it again.

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Font, March 4, 2015

Another exercise from Mr. Plowman’s wonderful book on collage; he calls this one Typography and directs you to construct a collage using type from magazines or newspapers.

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Disconnected, March 8, 2015

Another page of typography.  In this one I tried to create new patterns and shapes from the pieces of letters I cut apart.

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Thank you for visiting.

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Day 11: White On White

White On White

Day 11: White On White.

Simple objects from my crafting desk, and from around the house , glued atop the page.  For the heavier items, I used E6000 adhesiveTombow adhesive worked for the tag, stamps, burlap scrap, and felt flowers

Glued items, pre Gesso

For most spreads I glue three pages together on each side so they’re really sturdy.  For this one I glued 4 pages on each side.

1 Layer Gesso

I envisioned the familiar items all in white on a white background so you would just see the shape and texture.

I don’t have any white paint so I was using Gesso.

Page 1 White on White

Page 2 White on White

Last year Day 11’s project were these Button Rings.

The first year I did 30DOC, I made this epic Minature Paper Dress on day 11.

Come back tomorrow and see what I come up with!

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30 Days of Creativity 2013: Art Journaling

30 Days of Creativity (30DOC) is a global social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.  I’ve done it for two years (see Year 1 and Year 2) and though I have loved many aspects of it, it has also made me kind of crazy.

Sometimes it was both fun and chaotic, like when I tried making chocolate bowls by painting melted chocolate on balloons. They popped. Fail.

Chocolate Splattered

Last year, when the month had ended, I made a decision I would not do it again this year. But I’ve revised that decision: I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do my own version of the project.  The first two years I created many different crafts and recipes.  I did something new for each day and I photographed the results and posted them here.  Some of my time was spent crafting and some was spent finding things to try, shopping for supplies and scrambling to get the project completed, photographed and a post up and published each day.

I enjoyed the creative challenge, building and stretching my creative muscles, trying new things, and the camaraderie with other participants doing 30DOC.   But working full time and getting something made every day and photographed and posted made for some high-stress days and low-sleep nights.  Not really the goal or the idea of the project.

As it is, I often feel like I don’t have as much time to craft as I’d like.  So to spend time and money on craft projects that I wasn’t really loving didn’t seem like the best decision.  This year, Year Three of 30DOC, I’m going to do 30 Creative Projects in 30 Days.  I won’t try and post every single day (though I will when I can) and if I don’t get to the craft table for a day or two, I’ll catch up on the weekend.  I’m going to focus on one craft, Art Journaling, and explore it in more depth.

Artist's Journal

My decision to participate in 30DOC but to bend it to suit my own needs and desires comes in part from my recent visit to Virginia Simpson-Magruder’s studio, Kentucky Girl Designs in Novato.

Virginia

Her studio is packed full of art supplies and a stunning collection of Art Journals.  The picture below shows just a few of the journals she filled when she was doing daily spreads in art journals.

Journal A Day Collection

DAILY!  For over two years!  She told me that after she’d been doing the daily practice for awhile  (like over a year and a half), she would sometimes let a day or two or even three go by without journaling and then would catch up with a batch of pages. That really struck a chord with me and made me think I might be able to do the 30 DOC on my own terms.

When I learned she had a workshop coming up, I reserved a space immediately.  The “Express Yourself! Introduction to Altered Books and Collage Workshop” was such a pleasure!  Virginia has LOADS of wonderful supplies, so many that I couldn’t even begin to try everything out.  Stacks and stacks of magazines, ink pads in a huge variety of colors, water-soluble oil crayons, baskets of lovely rubber stamps that I didn’t even get started on, scissors, glue, paint, markers, glitter and way more.

Paint, Brushes and More

There were just four of us in the workshop and I was like a kid in a candy store.  We were surrounded by creative projects on every side in the sunny space. It was all so colorful and inviting.

This is a book that has been recreated into a shrine.  A niche has been carved into the pages of the book and special items are displayed in the space.

Altered Book Shrine

This is the cover of Virginia’s beautiful journal about doors for her “Altered Books as a Way of Seeing Workshop Portals: Doors, Windows and Gates“.

Portal Work Book

Here is the work table where we dug into the creative process, getting our fingers smudged with ink and sticky with glue as we crafted.

Work Table

One of the students, Susan, is intent on her design.

Susan

Her first spread that started with picking a color and writing about it, with Virginia’s guidance.  Layers of color and then collaged images fill the pages. I like the giant watch faces, rising above the animals and girl on the page like a full moon.

Susan's 1st page

For the second two-page-spread we learned how to make pockets (on the right, below) in which to tuck small items, such as business cards or post cards.  This is also Susan’s work.

Susan's Pocket page

Detail from the pocket page: “wonder more”.  I love the woman, almost hidden, and how she is turned away from the viewer.  The flower seller on the other page looks away as well.  The tag, tucked into a pocket says “The picture is half the story”. So true!

Wonder More

Jane (one of two Janes in the workshop), shared a spread she created.  She left early and I didn’t get a picture of her second spread.

Jane and Her Book

The other Jane, attending her second class at the studio, shows what she has been working on.

The Other Jane

“Seeking Peace” has a dreamy quality with soft blue, green, yellow and red.  Golden fish swim across the pages.

Jane's First Page

Her pocket pages have deeper colors with rich reds, and lots of interesting images, layered with flowers and swirls.

Jane's Page on Color

My first spread, the color page, started with “Periwinkle Blue” and words I associate with that color.  I rubbed the pages with stamp pads in vibrant shades of blue, purple and turquoise ink.  Then Virginia gave us 20 minutes to look through magazines and find some images to use.  I could have quite happily worked on that task alone  for about 2 hours.

My original composition didn’t include the music on the upper left.  Virginia suggested it would balance the music on the lower right and it worked perfectly as birdsong..  This is how the pages looked at the workshop.  I’ll share the changes and additions I made at home.

Big Ampersand

My pocket page has artwork from a Marin calendar and the pockets work perfectly with the images of rolling Marin hills, fog and the Golden Gate Bridge tower showing through the grey.

Fog in Marin HIlls

I created a few tags during the workshop and finished the others at home.  Since the bridge is almost obscured by the fog, I made tags with images of the well-known bridge and then added a cow tag and a California poppy.   I inked the cord to go with the famous International Orange color of the bridge

Tags

Virginia also showed us how to make a pocket in the back of the book.  I’m not sure this spread is done yet.

Back Pocket

Another technique she taught us was a way to add a postcard or envelope or some element that you don’t just want to glue down on a page, but be able to see both sides.  This is called a tip in.

In this example, we cut or tear two pages down to about an inch and half wide.  Insert your tip in, in my case some pieces cut from greeting cards, photos and magazine pages.  This is my garden spread.   I did this at home on Monday.

Garden Page

Here is a look at my desk – I was having so much fun with the journal that I didn’t stop to put supplies away.  Hmm, does this sound familiar?

Covered Craft Desk

I was so glad to have time on Monday for crafting.  It was wonderful to take all the ideas and techniques from the workshop.

The blue page was my first project.  I made some changes, adding new elements and embellishments.  More bling with a fancy cuff bracelet, a silver ring and some sparkle to the dangling gems. I even added nail polish to the thumbnail and the words “Unique” and “Delightful”

Blue &

I removed the image of a laughing woman and I’m very pleased with the final result.

This is my first window page – the image of the Native American woman smoking a sacred pipe on the left is from an article about people who are some of the last speakers of dying languages.  On the right, a shuttered window with leaves floating on water below.

Window Page

The shutters open and you can look through the window and see a path through trees.

View through the Window

When you turn to the next spread of pages, you can peek back through the window to see the wise woman outside.

Back through the window

Or close the shutters to see the branches on the other side.

Bounty

The last page I completed in my new Art Journal was a kind of happy accident, which, by the way, I think happens quite often in art if we are open to it.

I had pulled a page from a magazine because I liked the image on it.  But when I was looking through my collected pages, I saw the image on the reverse and was drawn to the expressive face of Jane Goodall.  A few minutes of online research for a quote from Ms. Goodall and the pages were practically done.

Jane Goodall

Make a Difference

A big thank you to Virginia and her  Kentucky Girl Designs studio and to the other students taking the workshop with me.  In the words of Jane Goodall: “What you do does make a difference…”  I feel inspired and ready for the upcoming 30 DOC challenge.

Thank you for the visit.

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Art Journal

Cover Page Artist's Journal

This is my Art Journal.  I started it after seeing some of a friend’s altered books and finally having it strike a chord in me.  I’d read about altered books and art or artist’s journals but seeing and holding one in my hands made the difference.  (Thanks, Michelle).

You can click on any of the pictures and get a larger view.

An art journal doesn’t have to be in an altered book and an altered book can be many things other than an art journal.  But for me, the two came together and I was inspired and excited to get started.

Some months ago, Rem and I were out for a Sunday drive and found a little antique and collectibles shop and I discovered this book.

Cover

If that isn’t beautiful enough, how about the title?

Wild Life

I couldn’t find a copyright date, but the inside cover has an inscription “Christmas – 1913  To Dad from Jack”  I’d found my book. I just found a copy online that has a copyright of 1881.

The book was falling apart but I was going to give it new life as my Artist’s Journal.

Inside Cover Spread

I wanted to keep the inscription so I covered over the words with a piece of tape and painted around them, creating a two-page spread of banners and blue sky.

Here is a definition that I like for Art Journal that I found online:

An art journal is a journal or diary that has a strong visual element to it, an expression of your artistic creativity and imagination, not filled only with words like a traditional journal. It’s a journal for using your art to express your memories, dreams, and thoughts. How you create the images, and what type of imagery you make, is entirely a matter of personal choice. There are no rules. You can paint or draw, use pen and ink, photos, collage, doodle, stickers… anything and everything.

That is from about.com guide,  Marion Boddy-Evans, an artist and writer.

Back to my old book.  It was written by Gustavus Hines, a missionary, about mission work around the world but mostly in Oregon.

I redid the title page.  I kept some of the original wording (I love “the fearless explorer of the Northern Pacific Coast”).

Fearless Explorer

I skimmed through the book – lots of this kind of stuff:

This part the author flatters himself will supply the Christian public with a needful desideratum with respect to the true character of that important Mission and of the courageous and self denying men who were the first to carry the Gospel across the Rocky Mountains and to proclaim it along the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

I tore pages out to make it thinner because I will be gluing other layers in. For every two-page spread, I glued several pages together to make them stronger.

Illustrated Page Spread

As I started working on my own art journal, I looked online at other art journals of which there are many.  Here is a quote from Corey Marie Parkhill.  She is an artist and blogger and she not only does her own beautiful art journal pages but she crafts and sells art journals.

Journal = Journey

A shopping trip to BLICK Art Materials in Berkeley resulted in these hearts, punched out from the shopping bag.

Brown Paper Hearts

Brown paper hearts with dictionary washi tape reinforcing the pages.

Close Up Hearts

Driving to work on a wet November morning, the stormy sky, dark with low clouds, was a perfect backdrop to a row of trees, brilliant in their fall foliage.

Simply Trust

I remembered a song we sing in choir and used the lyrics The blue paper background was perfect to recreate what I’d seen in the morning.

The leaf was stamped onto a page torn from the book, inked and embossed in layers, cut out, and inserted into the book.

Leaf

This next spread has a technique I probably first learned in nursery school.  Paint dripped on paper, folded in half and then unfolded to create a design.

I covered the pages in white gesso and let it dry before dripping and smooshing paint between the pages.  It looked like a butterfly, especially once I added the black detail.

Butterfly Flutterby

Songs weave together words and music.  That was what I wanted to do for this page: woven words & music.

Woven Words & Music

I used strips of paper woven with bands of music-printed washi tape.

Title Words & Music

I have another ongoing book, similar to an art journal that I’ve kept for years.  It is my Image Journal.  For that I have and continue to collect pages torn from magazines, along with postcards, old calendars and greeting card that I use to put together themed pages.

From my Image Journal collection I found this beautiful centerpiece from a Real Simple magazine article.  It was just what I wanted for Thanksgiving.  The background has been covered in gesso and stamped with a blessing.

Thanksgiving

An early morning walk inspired these pages.

Spiderweb with Dots

Foggy Morning

Coming from the parking garage on campus one morning, I saw a beautiful gingko tree and the bench and ground underneath thick with yellow leaves.

Bench Covered with Leaves

It rained the next day and the wind and rain stripped all the leaves off the branches and made all the leaves on the ground into a dark, sodden pulp.

The leaf is made of yellow paper.

Gingko Leaf (of paper)

This patchwork quilt is made from 30 small squares of paper, each one with the same curve sketched into it.  After coloring a design on each square, I put them together to form circles.

Patchwork

The patchwork pages were made in December before the holidays.

We were moving to a new office at work, I got sick with a bad cold that wouldn’t go away and my journal sat untouched for months.  I packed it in with other craft supplies for our trip up the coast to Sea Ranch and made some new entries.

Sea Ranch

Sea Ranch. Ahhhhh.

In which we celebrate

This isn’t really the view out the window because I don’t have the artistic skills to paint what I’m seeing.  But it captures the flavor of the view for me – and really one of the things I love about Sea Ranch.  Water and sky.

Water and Sky

The following page has an Anne Lamott quote, which my mom shared with me recently..  It is so obvious but somehow easy to forget.

When I got to Sea Ranch I had a twitch in one eyelid.  All I really wanted was to have no schedule, no decisions and no worries.

Anne Lamott quote

That’s pretty much how our time was spent.  Feel like taking a nap? Great, here’s a window seat and a slew of pillows.  After 6 days of salt air, visiting the lambs, working on a giant jigsaw puzzle and taking plenty of naps, I felt much more serene than when I arrived.

This is my birthday page.  Pisces girl.

Birthday spread

Not Born All at Once

Good quote for a birthday.

Edge of Waves

I did a green ferny page inspired by a green Valentine I made.

Green Fern Page

This lovely little poem by Stephen Sandy is clipped out of the New Yorker.

Alchemy

More about what an art journal can be.

Art Journal as Tool

Closed Door

I started this...

A scrap of road map and washi tape with the definition of journey.

Journey

As I continue my journey/journal I will post pictures to share with you.

My Artist Journal

Thanks for being on the journey with me.

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13 Valentine Craft Ideas

LoVe Stamps

For 2013, here are 13 valentine card and craft ideas from past posts. I also have new projects in the works, so stay tuned.

Fluttering Hearts Valentine Card. Double layered hearts adds dimension to this valentine.

Fluttering Hearts

Heart Strings. I love how these move in the slightest breeze. I used vintage sheet music to make them.

Heart Strings

Crayon Hearts  – chunky and colorful, these hearts are a great way to use up old, broken crayons.

Crayon Hearts

Alphabet Valentine

I Heart U

Decoupage Map Heart in Art From The Heart II post.

You Mean the World to Me

Punched Heart Garland with Vintage Paper. One of my first Pinterest-inspired projects.

Punched Heart Garland

Doodle Heart Background – add a poem or quote of your choice, a sentimental message or simply “Be Mine”.  This is an easy project.

Doodle Heart Background

My very first valentine post, this Paper Strip Heart Valentine is still a favorite.

Paper Strip Heart Valentine

Itty Bitty Banners – these are a great embellishment for a card and would be adorable as a little pennant for a cupcake.

LIttle Banners

Warm, fuzzy Felted Heart Garland.

Felted Heart Garland

Masterboard Valentine’s Tags – this is a method for making multiple tags (or card fronts) in a short time.

Masterboard Valentine Tags

Itty Bitty Valentine’s – little cards with the same double-heart design as the Fluttering Hearts Valentine’s.

Itty Bitty Valentine's

Crayon Wax Paper Hearts – just like you made when you were a kid.  If you haven’t made these before, you should give them a try now.

Crayon Wax Paper Hearts

Happy Crafting!  Thanks for stopping by.

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Day 27: Image Journal

This is a two page spread I did tonight in my image journal.  I’ve been keeping it for years though I don’t sit down with it as often as I’d like.  My sister also keeps one and very occasionally we’ll sit down together for a relaxing afternoon or evening of journaling.

Tonight I reorganized all the pictures or images that I collect for the journal.  If I see something in a magazine or want to save a greeting card, bookmark, postcard or other visual piece, I tuck it into a translucent plastic box.  When I’m ready to spend some time working on a page or two, I pull out the box.

Quite simply the only thing it is for is my own pleasure.  It has no deadline and the only theme is things that I like.  When I sort through the torn pages from magazines  I’ve saved, I put like things together.  Than I paste them in the book.

Following are close ups of the two pages I put together tonight.  I used some Washi tape, a first for my Image Journal.

Creativity isn’t far away.

On Day 27 last year, I created Photo Cards.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Fluttering Hearts Valentine Card

This is an easy Valentine card that looks great. It is another idea from Pinterest and I’d planned on giving sewing another try.  I don’t sew.  I’m not really good with machines.  The card that I have adapted this from used a sewing machine and I liked it enough to try it.  But when my mom’s machine was on the fritz I decided it was a message that I should stick with my non-sewing craft-style.  So I used a stapler instead!

If you are not sew-phobic you might want to see how Ashley at The Creative Place does it.  Or just take a peek at her site anyway because she’s got loads of cute and creative projects.

I’m delighted with how this came out.  I’ve done other cards with rows of small circles or squares but stapling a second heart on top of each heart glued to the card and bending it upwards (like the wings of a butterfly about to fly away) gives a new, dimensional look to the design.

Fluttering Hearts Valentine Card

Supplies:

(Sorry, I was still planning on sewing – stapler not pictured)

Patterned Paper

Heart Punch (mine is from Martha Stewart and is 1 inch by 1 1/8 inches)

White and Red (or other solid color) Card Stock (yeah, I forgot the red paper in the picture too )

Paper Trimmer or Scissors

Adhesive (I use Tombo Mono double-sided adhesive)

Stapler and Staples

Directions:

Punch 24 hearts from the patterned paper, 2 each of 12 different designs.

Cut a 4 inch by 5 inch piece of white card stock.

Cut an 8.5 by 5.5 inch piece of red (or other color) card stock, score at 4.25 inches and fold into a card.  This is half a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch card stock.

Arrange 12 of the different-patterned hearts on the white card front.  Adhere the hearts.

Fold the remaining 12 hearts in half.

Staple each heart on top of it’s matching heart on the white card front.

Adhere the card front to the red card stock

Sign the back of the card.  Admire your lovely creation.  Share it with someone you love.

I tried this design out with a larger heart punch, about 1.75 inches across at the widest part.  It uses 6 double hearts with the card oriented landscape instead of portrait. I should have cut the white card front slightly wider and slightly shorter.  It takes two staples for each heart and I think the smaller hearts make a sweeter card, but this still works.

Thank you for your visit.  Please let me know if you try out this card – I’d love to see what your Fluttering Hearts Card looks like.

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