The first Monday of the month sees my monthly art journal evening at the Studio, and next week the theme is ‘never been used’. I’ve asked studio guests to bring something from their crafty stash that they have never used, and we’ll be incorporating them into our beautiful art journal pages.
In prepping my sample for the session, I came across an embarrassment of unused kit deep in folders, drawers and baskets. I think I will need to do more of these! I know I’m not alone, so what do you think – anyone fancy a ‘never been used’ challenge blog?
Here’s my show page, worked in my very first art journal from 2011 on a background that I’d not yet used:
It was a ‘watersolubles’ theme at Art Journaling last night. In between diagnosing a broken Mac (it was one of the RAM cards that died) and having the car serviced (it was a VW diesel engine…), I grabbed an hour or so to do an inspiration page:
It reminded me that all watersolubles are not created equal, with some water-soluble wax crayons barely moving when wetted, even on watercolour paper, and others wandering off and doing their own thing quite happily. It also is worth noting that, to get best effects, you should gesso or otherwise seal your journal page unless working in a watercolour paper journal.
In the above example, I used the blues on watercolour paper before drying and cutting out the letters on my Silhouette Cameo. The background is a combination of colour and graphite watersolubles over gesso, overprinted with acrylic paint. Handwritten text and outlines finished off the layout.
For my next trip abroad, I wanted to make another travel journal. I have previously handmade a small hardback pocket journal and a fold-out accordion journal. This time I decided to make a handmade journal using a piano hinge. This, for the unfamiliar, uses tabs and cylindrical objects (in this case bamboo skewers) to attach the pages at the spine. The benefit for a travel journal is that every other spread is the depth of the bamboo skewer, which means there is plenty of room for additional items of collage and other ephemera, and pockets to store memorabilia. It’s also possible to easily disassemble the book at the hinge to work on individual pages, or remove and add pages as required.
Constructed from canvas textured acrylic paper, I knocked back the white using an off-white chalky finish acrylic paint. I added a darker shade at the base of each page, using the same paint to stencil the building outlines. Overprinting with various travel oriented stamps using archival ink completed the decoration. It seems that the convention for piano hinge books is that the spine is visible, and the skewers extend from the bottom and the top. I wanted a more traditional book appearance as well as a protective cover, so I constructed cover pages before covering them with lokta paper which resembles old leather. A few coats of soft-touch varnish added to that illusion as well as protecting the paper. Adding this type of cover does restrict the addition of further pages. As I intend to use this on the flight as well, I thought it wise to trim the skewers… Some care needs to be taken to keep the pages vertically aligned, but in practice friction seems to keep the posts in place.
I started this page layout on Tuesday night as my teaching sample for my ‘Christmas Crackle’ art journal session on 7th November. Building up layers and techniques, I was very happy with the resulting background. I then spent just as many hours searching for the perfect ‘winter’ quote. Eventually I settled on this excerpt from ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ attributed to Mary Frye.
I’m having a go at catching up with some of my art journal online challenges and classes I’ve been neglecting for a few weeks (actually probably months). I’ve caught up with the Wanderlust One Collage Challenge, but part of the deal with that is that I can’t show you it until the last stage at the end of the year. But I have been taking pictures of each stage, so it’ll be worth waiting for!
Then I moved onto May’s Pick A Stick Challenge – ten prompts drawn at random and completed in order. I pulled out the very first journal I started way back in 2011 and found a background to work on – oh how my art journaling has developed! Continue reading →
Today’s page marks a landmark in my art journaling – it’s the final spread in my very first complete journal. I have at least four journals on the go at any time, but this is the first to be filled since I started journaling back in 2011. I wanted to play with different layers, working on making the text stand out and the background to support, but not over power it. Choosing media by its opacity helped me achieve this outcome: transparent Cobalt Blue Hue allowed some of the paper white to show through the underpainting, whilst the semi-transparent Phthalo Blue provided the background to the text, printed in opaque white gesso. Spritzing with the mister and adding visual texture with stamps brought everything together.
I really have used up all the papers I was sent for this month’s projects by Jones Crafts. This 12×12″ layout uses the last of the Sandy Toes Collection. The largest ‘porthole’ is actually hiding the bit I cut out from the ‘Flip Flops’ sheet for the clock face for my beach hut, framed with a circle cut from the ‘Sandy’ sheet. I stuck a square of the ‘Ocean’ sheet behind to fill in the hole. The rest is made up of elements from ‘Beach Bum’, ‘Waves’ and ‘Sea Shells’ sheets.