Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art journals..

 Over the last couple of years I've dabbled in a bit of art journalling. Mostly, the inky, painty type. I struggled to keep it up though. I'd get the urge to do some of my art journal, get out the paints, slap some paint on, maybe some stencilling-you know the kind of thing. But the problem was, I was impatient. I found it hard to wait for one layer to dry, before adding the next, or before writing. Even using a heat gun to speed up the drying process, I've lost count of the number of pens I've ruined writing on surfaces that weren't quite dry, or pages that have turned into muddy messes as one colour merged into another.
And, because I work in my kitchen, getting out paints and inks was /is a bit of a pain, because I can't leave anything out. Everything has to be tidied away in order for the family to eat!

But recently, I've come across two people who have inspired me to try a different way of journalling.
One is Julie Kirk, who has written about her journalling process on her blog here.
Well I haven't recently come across Julie-I have admired her quirky style for a long time, but the post about her process is recent.

The other is Sarah Ahearn Bellmare. I saw her book on Amazon recently and decided it looked interesting enough to take a punt and buy it. And I'm so glad I did!!

The book is all about the process she uses to create paintings, and part of that process are her sketchbooks. or journals. Sarah's process is not unlike Julie's process. Both have helped me think differently about keeping a journal.

So I though I would give it a go. I bought a couple of small Daler Rowney journals. These are A6 size I think, much smaller than any of my previous journals, and I really like the size. Small enough to tote around in a handbag if you are that way inclined, but more importantly, the size of the page is not intimidating. The space is manageable, and if you're like me, not much of a writer, then you know you won't have to come up with long stories to fill the page.

So, the thing about the process, is that you don't really need to set aside time for art journalling, although you can if you work better that way. What I do, is have the journal handy as I'm working on other projects, like scrapbooking, or stamping. I just grab my scraps, or stamps, whatever, and add them to the journal, usually as part of the tidying up process. It's done quickly and freely without much thought given to what I use or where I place it.
Then I have pages all ready when I want to write something. I might see a quote I like-or even have a thought of my own I want to record,(yes, I do think now and then!),  and I can go straight to a ready prepared page and get the words down. Then I can add other bits if I think the page needs it.
So let me show you what I mean.
Here is a page ready to be journalled on.
This background was made as I cleaned up after doing some stamping. I dipped into my box of scraps and glued on some patterned paper, book page and cut up some of the stamping. Usually when I stamp, I ink up the stamp, and stamp first onto scrap paper before I stamp onto my project. The scrap paper usually ends up in the bin, but instead of binning it, this time I stuck it into my journal. I have no idea how this page will turn out, but it's all ready for when inspiration strikes-with no wet paint to wait on!

So here are a couple more pages that evolved the same way-random sticking on of scraps, offcuts, whatever, then journalling added when I was ready.
I came across these lines from a poem, which resonated with me, so added them to the frame on this page. To complete the page I shaded around the frame, and added the bird stamp, and the stars.

I might even add something else to this page in time-who knows?

While I had the star stamp out I added some to this next page too-and some other stamps-which I also stamped on other pages in the journal.
This page used a book page and what was left over from punching circles from scrapbook papers.

So now, within my journal are pages with bits stuck on, and images stamped on, that will gradually be worked upon, added to and journalled on.

I'm really comfortable with this process, and can see myself working on this journal as this process  makes it easy and accessible. I think it's a process that will work much better for me, than the inky, painty journals-although I still enjoy getting messy, and wouldn't rule out having a painty journal too!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scrap your stash...

We scrapbookers are a funny lot. We fall in love with lots of scrappy stash, and then we want to put it away and not use. Because if we use it, then we don't have it any more, right? Wrong! We do still have it, but we need to look in our albums to see it, instead of our stash piles.
And if we don't use it, we end up with so much stash it becomes overwhelming, and actually can making scrapping harder than it should be.
So, get your stash out and use it!

That's exactly what I did in this layout:

First, a lot of different patterned papers as the base, then building up the picture with bits cut from patterned paper-the robot, train and train tracks. And details added to those in the form of buttons and brads, cogs and eyelets. Then lots of rub ons.
And some painted chipboard frames to frame the rub ons.
The result? A fun layout that manages to make a dent in my stash!!
I hope this inspires you to be bold about using your stash!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Through my letterbox...

Look what dropped through my letterbox this week:

It's the November kit from ScrapaGoGo. It is a gorgeous kit, and so versatile. I've made three layouts so far, which I'll post when they've been on the GoGo blog. But meantime I can show one, as it's on the blog today:

I love the little Pink  Paislee Vintage Vogue Spool buttons, which I've used here to link two tags. There's so much to love in this kit!
I've had a very creative week-the result of a week off work, combined with not very nice weather. So plenty of time for creating!!
I've been scrapping, art journalling-and even stamping. I'll post more during the week!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Journal page..

So yesterday was a gorgeous day and I did manage to get out for a walk. I even got to sit outside of a cafe drinking a latte after the walk-which is hard to believe, since on this first day of my week off, it's absolutely peeing down outside. Honestly the weather here today would give Noah a run for his money!
And it's cold too-only 5C outside.
I made a card today, but haven't photographed it yet. so instead here's another doodled art journal page.
I feel happier that the journalling is better integrated into the page, something that has always been a problem when I've tried art journalling in the past.
I like the colours on this page too.
So what about you-what have you been up to today?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Art journal

I can see myself happily sitting by the fire as winter approaches, with water colour pencils, making blended backgrounds, and then getting out the pens and doodling.

Just like this:
Aren't Friday nights wonderful?
I love that end of the week, whole weekend in front of me feeling!!
And let me tell you, when you have a week off, like I do, that feeling is magnificent!!
I'm feeling happy, and looking forward to doing some Autumn walks, photography, crafty stuff, cooking even!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Some market research..

My friens Elaine's husband made this for stickles, glitter, alcohol inks etc. Use it to store at home, or put your bottles for a crop in and take the whole block along. What do you think? Would you use it? What's a fair price?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

A wee tip..

Do you suffer from squashed layouts?
If you make dimensional layouts, how do you stop everything from squashing out of shape when you put them in your albums?
In answer to a question from Angie I thought I'd share what I do.
First, before I start any layout, I always trim around 0.5cm (or a tiny bit more)  from the top and one side of my cardstock. When I start a layout I have no idea where I'm going with it, whether it will be simple or heavily embellished, flat or dimensional. Trimming the cardstock means I'll end up with a layout that slips more easily into a page protector-with less flattening of elements if my layout does indeed become dimensional.
Secondly, If I'm using a postbound album I separate my pages with chipboard strips. Just cut a long strip-30cm, of chipboard about 1.25cm wide, mark off the position of the posts in your album, punch the holes and place them in your album between your pages. If your page is really bulky you can use two chipboard page separators. D ring albums are better for dimensional layouts as there is more room and less pressure on the pages.
Thirdly, I keep my albums standing up. If you lay your albums flat, especially in a pile, then of course everything will squash.
And that's it! Well there may be a little flattening, but in general my dimensional layouts remain pretty good following these simple steps.


I've renewed my interest in art journalling again recently, and have been experimenting with different media, making backgrounds etc. I've made some nice pages, but then they've been spoilt by my writing.
I'm talking about my handwriting, and the placement of words on the page, but even more about what I write.
I'm either stuck for words, or else everything sounds so banal.
But in the shower this morning I had a lightbulb moment. I've realized the words on the page are the most important element on the page. more important then the colour scheme, or the stencil, or the paint, or ink.
It's the words I need to fine tune, it's language that I need to use in a more creative way. It's hard to believe that I used to good at creative writing, a long time ago, in another life.
So that's what this page is about, and actually I'm pretty happy about this page. I like the blending of colours, and I like how the writing is small and takes up the space around the doodling.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Home Comforts

The October kit from ScrapaGoGo is gorgeous! It's Autumn and bonfires, apple pies, and cinnamon. It's hearth and homefires. No wonder it's called 'Home Comforts'!
As soon as I saw the kit with the Crate apple paper I thought immediately of this photo of my great neice Charlotte with the big red apple. Isn't she just the cutest wee girl??

The layout also uses some of the hybrid elements that you can purchase with the kit, and of course you can use them over and over. I print mine on photo paper as it has a nicer look and feel than copy paper.


This kit will be great for photos taken this month on Autumn walks. I have a few of those lined up. I just hope there are some leaves left on the trees in a week or two, as it's very windy here at the moment!!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A layout..

here's a layout I did a while ago. It was for the Scrapbook Magazine's '4 Way Challenge'. This is where 4 people are sent the same kit, and readers can see the different ways the kits are used.
This kit was from 'Quirky Kits' and was great fun to play with. So many lovely elements to the kit.
Emily and I had a lovely day out on a gorgeous Spring day. I plan to go back to Gosford house in a couple of weeks, as I think it will be just as pretty in the autumn!