Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Journal queries answered *Edited espesh for Ink Fairy

Woww, I love that you all love the journal step bey step. It was just a spur of the moment thing and I wasn't at all sure how it would turn out. I was really tired when I was posting about it and uploading the photos was soooooooooo slow. I need to confess that when I woke up after my customary 3 hrs sleep(don't ask cos I don't know, lol), I almost deleted it all. All I could see were the things I didn't like or wasn't particularly happy with. I wasn't sure about the photos because the colour was all wrong. But most of all I was really concerned that I would be teaching you all how to suck eggs, lol. The only reason it wasn't deleted was I didn't have time before having to drop our Tom off. And lo and behold, isn't it a good job I didn't?? The number of comments and emails (non stop emails) saying how useful they felt it in demystifying the process was overwhelming. Have I finally got you all well and truly hooked. Yayyyyyyyy...!!!! As Jim Reeves would say


I thought I would take the opportunity to answer a few questions for you.

You can journal in any book or journal of any size. I have about 7 on the go all at once. Most of them are handmade from recycled papers because I just love the feel and the texture. It is also satisfying to know that I was responsible for all of its creation. The one I am using a lot at the moment is my Moleskine journal which was my treat at the airport on the way to Egypt. Moleskine is a very old and revered brand of journals, you can ask for them in W H Smiths. there are lots of sizes and structure of paper. The one I work in the most is an approx 5 x 8 in notebook and it stands up really well to all the paint it gets thrown at it. I also have a 6 x 8 sketchbook which has thicker pages and a baby notebook for my bag. They aren't cheap, my size are around £15 but I do feel that it was money totally well spent. But saying that I was very nervous about putting something in it and that is a major problem when you are starting out. You are so afraid of spoiling it that you just look at it and give it the occasional stroke..!!! Oh yes you do. I bought Bezzie Su one and I give her at least a month before she dare, lol. Go on then prove me wrong..!!! lmao.
So why not make your own and bind it with book rings so you can work on each page one at a time..?

People also get confused and feel that they have to journal like me. No you journal from the heart however you wish. You can use any medium to add colour, magazine images, stamps, stencils, pens, felt tips, dabbers, ephemera, photos, just writing or just images. There is no right or wrong. It is only just taking off for most people in this country so there is no precedent to live up to, anything goes. But if you fill yours with peel offs and 3d decoupage and then bring it to me to show, don't be surprised if I come out in a rash and a sudden attack of the vapours...!!!
I like images and it is very rare that my journals don't contain one. Mind you I have enough magazines to rival W H Smiths...ooh 2 plugs for the same shop. "Other high street stores are available..!!! " Wtf..??? Why do people have to say that, lol. But buy good quality glossies, they are worth every penny.

* EDIT * Instead of trying to find an image that fits your journaling, turn it around. Find an image and see what springs to mind and then journal. If nothing comes to mind file it away for another day when it suddenly becomes the most perfect thing you were looking for. Thats how I do it, dont make the image fit the words , make the words fit the image.

What to use ro stick things down. It is very important not to use a wet glue, like PVA, because it will make everything ruckle. I use a gel medium, gloss or matt, whichever I pick up first, because it sticks beautifully without being sticky and going everywhere.

Don't forget that I hold monthly art journal workshops, tues and Sun, because to be quite honest I give you all the kick up the backside you need, lol. Plus there is nothing nicer than art journaling and swapping ideas with great company. The ability to get really emotional and cry at the drop of a hat is not compulsory, but seems to really help the day along.

I get asked over and over again if I am going to start online classes and the good news is YES - woop woop, but the not so good news is I have no idea when, sorry. I exist on the minimum of sleep as it is and just not sure how I can fit it in. But I am exploring all avenues. But you know what I am like I don't do anything half hearted, it has to be right and of the best quality. If you haven't already, sign up for the newsletter (top left of the page) where you get all the latest news and gossip first.

Many of you feel it is too far to travel for a workshop so I have been toying with the idea of an Art Journaling weekend. Let me know what you think. And unfortunately it wont be in Egypt in 40 deg heat, but in my studio with your thermals But you will get fed, watered, supplied with enough croissants, cupcakes, choccie biccies etc to feed a small army. Not forgetting, of course, that essential piece of Art Journaling equipment, turn your tongue blue lollipops. That is if you feel brave enough to try and prise them from Bezzie Su's extremely tight grip. On your own head be it, I say.!!

So I hope that has answered a few of your queries, and given you the kick start that you need. If you are still unsure then copy mine to the letter. Yes I know a few of you think I don't like that so I will just reassure you. My main passion is educating, by whatever it takes to set you off. I would say 90%$ of my student have to do everything, at first, exactly the same as mine, and that is cool. As long as you are learning, enjoying and gaining confidence, that is what matters. Students need to learn, educators need to teach..Simples..!!

When you hear me complaining about people copying it is not aimed at you lovelies. It is aimed at the few who take my ideas, teach them and pass them off as their own. That is totally unacceptable and is not fair on me or the student they are teaching. I feel you can only teach with a passion if it comes from the heart and not the recycled bin. I just wish other tutors would respect me and themselves, rather than trying to wing it with a sample they have only made once. I get so excited in some of my classes that I nearly pee my pants ( or is that just old age creeping in..??, when I see the enjoyment in peoples faces and the level of "wow I did that" . So don't worry copy away for personal use as much as frikkin well like, babes.

Oh and don't forget to let me know about them. Got a lovely email from Maggie this morn and I just want you to see it because this is what drives me to do blog posts in the early hours with matchsticks propping up my eyes. Maggie sorry haven't asked your opinion, hope you don,t mind..???

Hey Dyan

Hope you managed to get some sleep!
I know you must get thousands of pictures of peoples work but I thought Id like to share my very FIRST journal page with you.

Yesterday i was cleaning out the bedroom and found a bound journal- pages are hand made paper and bound in alovely fabric cover... so my mind wandered off the tidy up and today I put myself in the conservatory with some inks and pencils and got cracking!

I am very chuffed with myself and reading your blog this morning and the step by step instructions of how you assemble your pages fired me up. Its a small book 9 x 6" but I absolutely loved doing it and who cares if its drivell! I enjoyed doing it and I just went with the flow. Ive been cutting bits out of magazines for ages now so I had a little store and I kept my utensils to what could fit on the conservatory table I did sneek out a couple of times to my studio to get bits ....

BTW I loved the Jim Reeves video ... I cried.... my dad loved all of his records and used to record them on his reel to reel tape recorder and of course he used to sing to me as a child too so my brother found the tape to tape recorder and I want to see if any of the tapes work - I will be back in ireland next week so it could be an emotional time!

Love all the Christmas bits you have been tempting us with so when can we expect the paper pads!!??

Take care of yourself

Peace and love and happy creating!


Don't you just love the enthusiasm in that..??
Forgot to say the most important thing, to journal from the heart you have to be honest with yourself and remember unlike mine which are public property, lol, you do not have to show yours to a living soul if you don't wish. So journal as though no one will ever see it ...Simples.

Oh and I nearly forgot. Stick your tongue slightly out of the side of your mouth, to aid concentration, eat chocolate becaus its the law, and don.t forget to BREATHE...!!!!

Enjoy xx

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Step by step Art Journal spread...

Yes it is 4.15 am.
Yes I am still awake.
Yes I am blogging.
Yes I am barking..!!!

I am awake because I cant sleep and no other reason. And you know me I cant just do nothing. And I have a backlog of work seeping from every pore, but my eyes are so tired that I really wasn't up to much so I thought I would journal as it always relaxes me. And then I thought, hang on a minute,, lets photo and step by step it for you.
I get told all the time, oh it looks so complicated, I wouldn't know where to start. Well now you do. So pull up a chair, strap yourself in, we could be here a while, lol.

This is the double spread I did. And it was all done whilst sat in my bed. I have got in the habit of journaling there with only specific supplies and I have made it a rule that I cant go and fetch anything else, I have to use what I,ve got.

The pages were already painted. I always like to have some prepped and painted pages ready so that when the urge strikes I can just go with the flow.

I also had a co-ordinating book page ready prepared, which I cut into pennants for the top.

Draw a border around the 3 sides with a Sharpie permanent black pen, and outline the pennant.

add circles with a Pilot pen.

Stick in your images. Here I wanted the man to look as though he was on stilts to go with my circus theme so I just drew his trousers longer.

Stick down the other image and outline with the Pilot pen to give it definition.
I,ve got some fab new pencils called Inktense. They are a watercolour pencil with a difference, they contain ink. Therefore you get pure vibrant colours, scrummy.
Fill in the dots with green and outline with brown. Blend with a small wet brush.
Add a scribble of colour where you want your text to go.
Write your title in red Sharpie and the Pilot pen. Draw lines across the bottom and start journaling.

Fill in the gaps between the lines with doodles.

Draw lines the opposite way this time.

Fill in squares with the Pilot pen.

and journal.

colour in the remaining squares with a brown pencil

and smudge with a wet brush.

Oops cant remember what I did here, lol.

colour in the horizontal lines and the border.

Colour in and wet his trousers taking the pencil up and onto the image.

Shade around the spots.

circle the title with black pen and red pencil.Fill in any blank spaces with red and smudge.

Go over the black squares with a white pen to make them pop.

Write on his leg with a Sharpie.

Add a 7gypsies rub on.

smudge with green pencil and water to merge it into the background.

write on her legs, colour 2 tickets and stick to page.

and there we have it , a finished page.

Now I don't always work in that order, there is no right or wrong, but obviously paint and collaged papers need to go on first.Then I usually draw or add a border and then place my images so that I can work around them. You'll soon find your own style. I usually incorporate stamps, but they werent on the bed, so that was a no no. and I usually add more paint and oil pastels over the top for layers, but again nthey werent on the beb..!!!
These are the pencils I'm raving about. Should of got a bigger tin, with more colours, but I wasn't sure if I would like them or not. Woo hoo get me holding back, there's a first, but I knew I should have just gone for it, lmao.

And here's the state of my bed, ha ha , when I,ve finished.

But don't worry I clear it all away every night, I like things put away.
Hope you enjoyed that and I hope it has inspired you to have a go. Art journaling is sooooooo therapeutic, take it from one who
Enjoy xx

One more sleep..!!!

Ooh I got all excited this morning cos I thought The Goddess and The Resident bit of Glamour, were home from their jollies. I whizzed round their flat this morning but there was no signs of life. How strange, but thought maybe they were sleeping. Rang them later to find they are still there and not back till the morning..Me no likey...its enough to tip me over the edge, lol. I have missed them sooooooooo much.

So I have kept myself busy all day instead . These are what I,ve been up to.

I added the finishing touches to the sleigh that Super Sarah Superpants started the other day.

Finished off this little beauty, it just needs its grunge paper flower adding.

And put the final touches to this.

Ooh and what do you reckon to these gorgeous tags.?

And spent an enjoyable hour painting with my Blonde Moment Pearl Pigments. Love these.

And added the personalised touch to these baubles. I varnished them and hung them up to dry. Tomorrow they just need the holly added and they can all go in the post, yayy. Could be coming to a house near you.

Aww look at this, I wish I could bottle her gorgeousness.

Haven't shown you any journal pages lately, so here's two from Egypt.

Oh yes that last one was painted on the beach in 40 degrees heat, lmao. My favourite place for journaling at the moment is Starbucks. I get a large pot of tea with cream, get settled in a corner and journal away. Only thing is I easily lose track of time, lol. Maybe I need to set an alarm..!!
Just had a phone call from Tom to say the heating and water isn't working. How strange seen as the boiler was only serviced yesterday..!!! Un believable eh.
Enjoy xx

Quote of the Century

"You are an extraordinary woman.

How can you expect anything ordinary to happen to you"

Louisa May Alcott