Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art Journaling

Every artist dips his brush in his soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
                                                                            ~Henry Ward Beecher

This was my first entry in my art journal.

Art journaling is a product of your own imagination, energy, research, cost (supplies), and time.  Its  just like normal journaling, where you write down the events of the day, the adventures of a trip, or just random thoughts.  But instead of just writing you add art or scraps of daily life along with it.  It is a chance to create, a chance to expand, and a chance to let loose.   There are no rights or wrongs, no rules; its a way for you to remove yourself from life and to let go.  says art journaling is a special place for recording and decoding your interior world -- a place to download all your creative ideas, a place to remember the events of the day, or a place to doodle, to draw, and to dream.

I started my art journal while I was in college.  I was in my third year of photography school and really feeling uninspired.  I was also extremely stressed out.  I believe I was just surfing the internet and came across Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal.  I was so intrigued by the journal that I ordered it from Barnes and Nobel, when it came in I went to pick it up I started looking around at some of the other books that had caught my attention (I had a whole list).  I ended up buying Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media by Liz Lamoreux and a sketch book.  I started reading through the book by Lamoreux and started doing some of her projects in my art journal.  It felt great, it was like this release of energy.  I had needed this, it was a way for me to use my abilities that I wasn't using in school and best of all I was still using my photography!

A simple entry in my journal.
Art journaling is quite easy you start with a journal and a bunch of supplies and you get down and dirty and start creating.

Here is a List of Supplies that I borrowed from

Journal- of your choice (size and paper thickness are really what matter)

Mark Making Tools- pens, gel pens, ball point pens, fountain pens, any and all kinds of pens, markers, sharpies, paint pens, caligraphy pens, charcoal, pencils, graphite

Images- magazine clippings, computer print outs, personal photos, copies of photos, your own art or copies of it, junk mail, fliers, take out menus, weekly coupon inserts

Ephemera- a fancy word for scraps from your everyday life: pamphlets, notices, tickets, play bills, grocery lists, receipts, etc...

Adhesive- glue sticks, tape, staples, glue, gel medium, adhesive runners, glue dots, Mod Podge

Paint- craft paints, acrylics, watercolors, tempera paints, gouache, casein, spray paint, or pastels

Color- (other than paint) papers, cardstock, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, inks, pastels, watercolor crayons, regular crayons, gesso, spray inks, gelatos, fabric, ribbon, colored masking or washi tapes

Extras- stencils, stamps, masks, paper scraps, rub-ons, chipboard letters or other elements, buttons, charms, stickers, yarn, embroidery floss, beads, words/letters clipped from magazines, flowers, sequins, ribbons, tapes, and the list goes on and on

This is the sketch pad that I use for my journal.

When talking about the thickness of your journal it is about the thickness of the paper.  If you plan on using wetter media such as paint you will want a thicker paper, however, I use a normal sketch pad for my journal and I will sometimes add my work to it like if I am going to be painting or I will glue a thicker piece of paper to my page.

I have my journal and my supplies now I'm looking at these blank pages?  Now What?
Have no fear, has come up with a list of 50 different journaling prompts just to get you started.

1. Take a minute to connect with your feelings. Close your eyes and imagine what your feelings would look like, and then draw or paint them.
2. Grab your favorite novel and randomly open it to any page. Read the first paragraph on that page and illustrate it.
3. Remember in high school when you’d doodle on your notes? Just doodle until you fill an entire page.
4. Look outside and let the weather and your surroundings inspire your next art journal page.
5. Pick an object in your house. While looking only at the object, put your pen to paper and draw it without picking up your pen. Now add some color to your crazy drawing.
6. Find a beautiful picture in a magazine, cut it out, and make that the center of your art journal page.
7. Fill a blank page with shapes. Paint or color them in.
8. Imagine your inner critic as a monster. Draw or paint him.
9. Pick a quote and design an art journal page around it.
10. Write down five of your core beliefs. Pick one and illustrate it.
11. Journal about things that you love.
12. What’s your favorite fairy tale? Draw or paint your favorite scene.
13. Think about someone who inspires you. What characteristics of that person make her so inspirational? Use those characteristics to inspire your journal page.
14. Live in the moment. Journal about whatever’s on your mind.
15. Construct a journal page around the last time that you traveled.
16. Write down some of your life mantras such as, “Choose love. Follow your heart. Live in the moment.” Write them over and over again on your journal page, but use different lettering styles each time.
17. Take your art journal outside and document what you see. Write it, draw it, or paint it.
18. If you had one superpower what would it be? Journal about that.
19. Grab some junk mail and use it as the background of your art page. Paint or color over it.
20. Write down 10 things that you’re grateful for, and use them to inspire your next art journal page.
21. If you only had one more day to live, what would you do? Journal about it.
22. Pick a lyric from one of favorite songs and illustrate it.
23. Pretend it’s the New Year. Set a goal and journal about what would happen if you reached that goal.
24. Find a poem and let it inspire your next art journal page.
25. Pretend you’re a goddess. Draw her.
26. Think about something you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve been too afraid to do. Draw a mountain and write your fear on one side and then what your life would be like if you could overcome that fear on the other side.
27. Illustrate your favorite moment from the past week.
28. Write a compliment to yourself for something you accomplished recently. Center a journal page around that compliment.
29. Write yourself a permission slip to stop doing things that you think you’re supposed to do, but you don’t want to do. For example, “You have permission to stop reading a book that you’re not enjoying. You have permission to buy cookies instead of baking them for the next bake sale.”
30. Journal about your unhealthy habits.
31. Draw yourself in a beautiful ball gown.
32. Journal about things that you think are lovely.
33. Think about something in your everyday life that you take for granted, and devote your next art journal page to it.
34. Draw a map from wherever you are to where you want to be.
35. Paint or illustrate how you feel when you’re at your favorite place.
36. Draw a large heart in the middle of a page and fill it with things that make your heart smile.
37. Think back to your favorite childhood memory and use that to inspire your next art journal page.
38. Journal about heartbreak.
39. Journal about peace.
40. Fill your art journal page with all the things your inner critic says such as, “You’re not good enough. You’ll never be anybody special.” Then paint over the words until they’re not visible.
41. Use Mod Podge to adhere book pages to a journal page. Use that as your background and paint or draw on top of them.
42. Pick three colors. Draw an animal using a pen, and then use only those three colors to fill it in.
43. Journal about magic.
44. Think about the last movie that you watched. What did it leave you feeling? Illustrate it.
45. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? Journal about that person.
46. If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? Journal about it.
47. Draw a staircase, and think about your biggest dream. Draw it at the top of the staircase and then fill each step with the “steps” you’d have to take to make your biggest dream a reality.
48. Journal about hope.
49. Think about a child in your life. It could be your own child, a neighbor’s child, your sister’s child, or any other child who see regularly. What do you want for that child? Journal about it.
50. Journal about things that make you laugh out loud.

Here are some more pages from my art journal

You don't have to be an "artist" to create and keep your own art journal.

Most people who create illustrated diaries and journals aren't even comfortable calling themselves artists... not when they begin this kind of journey anyway.

Just remember that it's art if you say it's art; no other standards apply!

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.
                                                                                   ~Scott Adams
Here are some links to help you get started: (this is not about art journaling, but it is an online journal which could                                                      help with some prompts)

Also check out the local library or a book store or look on Amazon to find any books on art journaling.

Have fun with this process , don't take it to serious.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quilt Block Fleece Tie Blanket Tutorial

Just like a tie blanket with a fun little spin on it. 

First you should decide how big you want your tie blanket to be, keep in mind that fleece fabric doesn't come in all widths and tie blanket back are usually just one piece.  The width of the fleece that I used was 67".  Next you need to decide on what colors or patterns you would like to use.  I chose three different colors for the blanket that I made. 

If you look closely you can see my math and sketch I made.

After I bought the fabric and brought it home I made a template out of cardboard.  It is just a 12x12 square to help me keep all the squares the same size.  I also drew my little doodle on it and did my math (where I decided on how many of each colored square I needed)  on it.  It's just my little goofy way of doing things. 

Next I laid one color of my fabric out and laid my template on top of it and started cutting out the amount of squares that i needed in that color.  Once I was done with that color I started on the other color.

After all the squares are cut it is time to start making the rows. Take two squares both different (in my case a maroon one and a deer print one) and put them together wrong sides in (this is where the side that you want to see is on the outside).  Take your scissors and start making 3/4" to 1/2" cuts about 1 1/2" long.   I used a pinking shears for something different a normal scissors will work just fine.  You cut like this along one side only.  Once you have the one side cut then you double knot the cuts together.  Continue this process to make each row.  You may have to pull the fleece after all the knots are made because they will be bunched up.

Note:  Leave the very top cuts of the first row and the very bottom cuts of the bottom row untied. Just these two rows.
This is done to help when tying the front to the back.

 Once all your rows are done and tied together it is time to tie the rows together.  Take two rows and lay them together with the backsides together and the edges that you are going to be cutting together.  Again make cuts like you did before and tie together. 

When I tied the rows together I made the cuts and tied each square one at a time.  Keep in mind that you will probably have to pull the fleece like mentioned before to stretch it out so the knots aren't all bunched up.

Also keep the very last cuts untied at each row, this helps when tying the front to the back.

When you have all your squares tied together the resulting product should look like this...

The next thing to do is to lay out the fleece that is going to be used for the backing.  I laid mine out completely flat on the floor and then laid the quilted part on top.  You are going to want to lay this out exactly how it is going to be when it is done (basically the backsides of the fleece will be on the inside).

Notice how I have extra fleece around my quilted part.  I ended up by a lot of extra fleece for the back.  I just trimmed around the quilted part so it was all even end I was done cutting.
Once you have everything trimmed up it is time to make cuts to tie the front to the back.  Doing one side at a time, make cuts measuring about the same as what was used to tie the squares together all the way down one side.  Then start tying them together.  Note: I like to usually cut a square out of each corner, the square is usually the size of the cuts for the ties.  This helps in tying the corners for me at least.  Once you get one side together go to the next and so on.

My blanket when it was all done.  This is about how it should look when you are done.  It takes a good part of a day to make, but it is a fun twist on a wonderful project.  This could also make a great gift for a friend that lives in colder climates or one that that you would like to wish warm thoughts on for the year.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial and I hope it is easy to follow.  Please leave me suggestions if I could make it any easier to follow.

The Beginning

Hello All- Welcome to my artistic, crafty, crazy world of projects, my life in a fish bowl.  I was recently laid off from my job and my unemployed life is driving me bonkers.  Always being the crafty person and enjoying any type of art I decided that I would share it with the world. 

So a little bit more about me, I am from Minnesota so I know my four seasons almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, lol.  I went to school for photography and have slowly been working on my wedding and portrait business.  I have always been interested in art I can remember drawing on the back of Piggly Wiggly ads (we don't have these in MN, I lived in TX for a while in my younger years) at the age of four.  I learned how to sew on a sewing machine at the age of ten from my aunt before that I was hand sewing clothes for Barbie.  As I got older more and more things that dealt with crafting or art attracted my attention.  I went to two different private art colleges one I did not finish.

My arts and crafts closet in my studio.
I have always been a do it yourself kind of girl.  I was making white cakes from scratch when I was seven or eight (separating the yolk from the whites with out a separator).  I had my dad show me how to work on my car so I didn't have to bring it to the shop.  I also worked with my dad for a summer finishing basements so I learned all kinds of things that ways.  This spring I tiled the bathroom floor myself.

I am getting married June 2012 and it is a very handmade wedding so there will be some wedding crafts shown on here.  I'm excited to share with everyone and hope that I get a following.