Friday, October 17, 2014

Creative Borders...

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Creative Borders
Here is one of my favorite techniques for making borders.
I start with a page in my journal that I've painted with a variety of layers.
Then, from another journal, I make color copies of a few pages. I use pages that have a lot of detail, color and texture. Cut or tear the pages into strips to use as border designs.
First, I place an image, using staples rather than gel medium, and a quote into the center of the page.

Then, I glued the cut strips around the edge of my page, and added another contrasting paper.
Needing to draw the focus inward more, I added a simple border with a white Sharpie poster pen, creating the perfect finishing touch.

Having used the color copies from other journal pages helped pull together this page fairly quickly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Organizing all those small bits of paper

If you're like me, when you're journaling on a daily basis (especially in a small format) you end up with lots of small pieces of paper stacked in a pile along side your other materials. Eventually you don't know what's buried there.

Inspired by a display I saw at The Arts Center here in Corvallis, Oregon, I made a similar display with an old book and then put it to good use. After folding all the pages in half, I had a place to put all those bits and pieces of paper so that I could see what I had. Easy breezy, and a bit more suited to my aesthetic tastes than a plastic box.
You recognize the design. (Remember Readers Digest Xmas Tree decorations in the 70's?) Take any book with a few hundred pages and fold them in half to create this delightful tool to organize bits of paper.

Preparing for my Journal 365: a page a day project, I pre-cut a bunch of paper to size. I then cradled them in between the empty covers of a hand-made journal that I found at Goodwill. The stand that holds the book is one I made from a piece of card stock. Now I can just grab a page and go! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Journal 365- First meeting date is set!

I'm very excited at the soft launching of Journal 365:a page a day! The response has been very positive. And we have our first meeting date set;

Saturday, October 25, 2-4pm at The Arts Center in Corvallis, Oregon.

the new flyer...

Come if you can and bring friends! Meeting is free to members of The Arts Center ($35/year), or $4/meeting for non-members. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Leaf Skeletons

This week I have been busy! I am designing a new community project that should be ready to launch by this weekend, so stay tuned.

But I have also been experimenting with making leaf skeletons to include into my journal pages. My experience so far is that is will always be an experiment as the outcome or success of each leaf doesn't seem to be entirely predictable. And I apologize that the photos aren't very clear, but you'll get the gist.

Start by boiling thick, heavy, wax coated leaves in 4 cups of water and 3/4 cups of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) for 1.5-2 hours.  I used Bay leaves from a volunteer tree in our back yard, Laurel and Ivy leaves. Then rinse and lay in a plate with a bit of water to keep the leaves moist. Now the tricky part. Using your fingernail, start scraping away the pulp from the top side of the leave, careful not to tear through the fine veins underneath. It's a tad tedious. Rinse the plate and leaves often so that you can see what you're doing. 
Then turn the leaf over and scrape the finer, thinner membrane off the underside. This is much easier to do that the top part. You'll notice that I haven't scraped the leaf completely clean, I find leaving some of the pulp on makes the leaf more interesting for using in journaling.
These 2 leaves I air-dried overnight. I just re-dampen them and place them in a book to press them flat. 
These are my some of my favorites. At different times of the scraping process I laid them in bleach. I watched them so that they didn't become completely white, then rinsed and continued scraping. I LOVE the varigated results. The 3rd leaf from the left has ONLY had the back membrane removed, then put in bleach then pressed. I didn't remove any of the top pulp.

Let me know about your results! Oh, and of course, I had to use one immediately...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sketchbooks large and small

I do love sketchbooks and notebooks of all sorts whether they are handmade or commercially produced. I tend to gravitate to the medium size for both art journaling and travel journaling, somewhere around 5x9 inches.

My go-to notebook for this summer was the smallest yet. It was a beautiful, Rhodia 2"x3". The pages were coated and smooth, perfect for pen and colored pencil. I used it strictly for sketching wild flowers around Oregon in the early spring and summer. But I usually have 3-4 notebooks active at all times. Some are better for watercolor washes with heavier weight paper, and others are for everyday writing and tracking details about daily events, like the Moleskine below.

More in Black and White

The above two sketches were done with a slightly new technique. First, I sketch the scene with a line drawing. Then I filled a watercolor paintbrush with diluted India Ink (because it's what I had) and painted in the values. Straight from the brush was a medium gray. To get it lighter I rubbed it out with my finger or used water. To made a darker shade, I waited until it dried and layers more black ink. The minimal use of color was added last. This process is a great study in finding value, light to dark. (The notebook used was my everyday moleskine, 3.5x5 in, lined light weight paper, pen was Pilot Precise .5, w/c Cotman travel set)

Hydrangia in layers

This shows the layering process starting with a simple line drawing, then adding watercolor and colored pencils. I chose to use more realistic colors, but another option would have been to use arbitrary colors, a more playful, whimsical approach.