Category Archives: art journal

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making

Crafty girl’s guide is a way to save on your art journals. Most of us mixed media artists drool over Moleskine and Strathmore brands, and many more, but they make a big dent in our wallets too.

Not that it’s bad to spend on good art materials. I do spend, but sometimes I like to make my own journal because it has “me” branded on it, not spiral binding or ugly covers.

I like to embellish the store-bought covers, but it’s something special about making your own.

I have even made some to sell in my etsy shop because beginning art journalers sometimes have a hard time with the blank page, so I make some simple backgrounds on the pages.

I buy watercolor paper on sale and take the pads apart for easy art making.

Then I fold the painted pages and use a bone folder to flatten the crease as much as possible. I sew the pages together with embroidery thread or hemp string.

The reason I like embroidery thread is that it’s colorful and strong, and flexible.

Crafty girls know how to be creative with the backgrounds in the journal. The more you create, the more your creativity blossoms.

Make your own!

crafty girl's art journal making
crafty girl’s journal

This is the latest journal I made. I covered the front and back with some vintage paper. The cover can be painted or more ephemera added on top. The label can be affixed anywhere or left out.

So much fun!

crafty girl's guide to art journal making

Above is a sample page of a background, and below are a few more. As you can see, crafty girl’s can make this EASILY!

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

crafty girl's guide to art journaling

So easy… A while back I made a video on how to put the pages together into a journal.  HOW TO VIDEO.

I have written some posts about art journaling basics for you. CLICK HERE TO READ.

ART JOURNALING STUFF (mostly cool backgrounds.)

If you need a push, here’s another post about the importance of allowing yourself to make art. BEGIN NOW! 

Now you can make your own journal and get started with art. There are no excuses and there is no time to lose. If you love art, make some today!

xo

Maria

P.S. I made a simple e-course on how to make a variety of art journals. It’s for the crafty girl in you! 🙂 CLICK HERE. 

You can also visit my etsy shop for more journals if you don’t want to make your own. EARTH AND FAERY

 

Honoring the oneness of everything

Honoring the oneness of everything is what artists do when we create out of nothing.

More often than not the mind tries to figure out “what to paint.” A wave of images from books and other artists flow through the mind, and there is EXPECTATION.

Gotta paint a face as good as the other artist’s face rendering. But that is not creating from nothing.

What if you sit or stand in your art area and don’t have a clue what to do next. That is creating from nothing. It can be scary and boring.

Actually, I sat down at my computer to write this post and I didn’t have a clue what to write, but I trusted that something would come. I centered myself in meditation, noticing all the images flying through my mind and settled on a journal I made. Writing always flows easily to me and I trust it.

The idea of creating from nothing intrigues me and I have a lot of curiosity about diving deeply into the art.

What if it didn’t matter

  • that the art turned out like crap (every day)?
  • that all you could manage was two pink dots?
  • that you felt like actually destroying the page?
  • that you struggled and had nothing inside?
  • that people would not take you seriously?
  • that you doubted yourself 100% but still showed up?
  • that you felt like you wouldn’t get anywhere with your art–ever?

It all comes down to trusting the process. If you feel like putting down one pink dot on the paper, do it. Feel within what paint you might like next and go for it. Slap it on, splatter it, wipe it into a brown mess, stab it with pencils, yell at it, add some collage, hate everything that comes out, but then…

Something happens. A spark, a clarity of sorts, a direct connection within that sets you on the track to something unexpected and beautiful.

It is effortless at this point and you will always love what comes out even if it seems weird (and wonderful.)

Convention is hard to crack. We don’t want to ruin the pristine look of our expensive art journal pages, etcetera.

I watched a video by an artist who took cheap composition books and made them into art journals. One interesting part was to crunch up every sheet of paper inside. She pointed out we’re connected to everything in life and the paper had once been a tree. By crunching it up she released the energy of the tree and set it free. I loved that idea. It set the paper on a whole new course.

Also, everything we touch is imprinted with our energy. When we make a journal, it’s truly imprinted with our own DNA, and it makes us own our art on a deeper level.

smash book
smash book

It was a lot of fun to make the journal and there is no preciousness about it. I can paint ugly all the way. It’s about diving deep and getting some answers through art. No one needs to see the art and judge it.

It is a very freeing way to be more YOU.

The artist who inspired this process is Catt Geller.

If we can see the wholeness, the oneness, of which we are part and know that the art we’re called to make has purpose, all we have to do is put one pink dot in front of the other and go from there.

Ugly is okay and an honored process.

art journal
honoring ugly art

 

art journal
scrunched pages

xo

Maria

P.S. Speaking of making an art journal from scratch, why not make collage papers from scratch as well? I have a great mini e-course on that. You can check it out  HERE. 

 

Paper madness!

Paper madness can strike at any time. I love paper in all forms. What would the world be without paper? Plastic books? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to talk about books but more about art journals and writing journals. I think there is a journaling craze going on. Michael’s has a whole isle with journals and insets and stickers to add.

Maybe we never grow too old for stickers??

I went to Hobby Lobby for some acrylic inks and came away with a great deal on a snooty Fabriano art journal.

Fabriano
paper madness

The paper is exceptional. I touch the pages reverently and imagine what I can create inside. No junk journal here…  It says drawing paper, but at a sturdy 90lbs it can hold just about any wet media.

You know how they describe wine. Dragging my hand across the paper, I would have to say it has a rich depth, is robust, yet smooth and silky against my tongue skin. 🙂

I use a lot of different kinds of journals for my art journaling, but I write my thoughts in a cheap notebook every morning. I have a great pen made for smooth writing (ek Tools journaling ink pen.)

I finish a notebook quickly so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive journals that sit around gathering dust because my handwriting would ruin them. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t write in them.

But, I did buy one for Christmas last year, and I’m about halfway through. It has pictures and sayings. Some of the pages are lined and some are blank. It’s SACRED SPACE, Writing and Creativity Journal by BlueAngel publishing. Journal art by Toni Carmine Solerno.

journal
Sacred Space

journaljournaljournalIsn’t the artwork lovely?

That is a journal I would keep, but I usually throw out my written notebook journals once they are full. No written masterpieces there…

To journal feels good. It clears the mind clutter and gives new vision. It makes you connect inside, with the inner small voice, and also with problem loops of thoughts that keep us away from what is important.

I’m also mad for any kind of funky paper, and I like to make my own too of course.  I alter the plain paper with inks, paints, dyes, markers, and collages that I print. It’s a way to put your stamp on plain paper or alter bought scrapbooking paper.

In art anything goes,  Mixed media art is a heaven for paper enthusiasts. I love it when there is a sale on scrapbooking papers. I buy a bunch and then I can’t wait to add some to my artwork.

If you’d like to read a basic article on how to get started with art journaling you can check out this post, Art Journaling Tools.

What do you like to write in? Notebooks or expensive journals? Do you use your computer as a journal?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maria

P.S. Speaking of papers, I have a short art journaling paper making e-course that is lots of fun. You can check it out via THIS LINK.

 

Because journaling is fun!

Because journaling is fun I do it every day, but it’s not only the fun aspect that inspires me. Writing down my thoughts gives me clarity when I find myself overwhelmed. What is my priority today?  When I write it down I can see a path.

Most of my friends journal one way or other. Some journal on napkins, and some in elaborate expensive journals with leather covers.

It doesn’t matter what kind of journal you use; it can be a composition book from the box store. What matters is you having a conversation with YOU.

It’s like coming home to your most honest part.

journal
journal

Journaling brings not only clarity but vision that might stretch into the future. What do you want with your life? What do you want to experience?

I mostly write a journal entry every day and a vision for the week, and sometimes I can try to plan out the future, but you know what happens to “best laid plans…” I always write a page of gratitude every day. There are sooo many things to be grateful for.

Journaling is good for:

  • solving problems
  • kick around ideas
  • write down what you’re grateful for
  • write off “steam.”
  • get clarity of what you want to experience the most
  • write about relationships with others (or lack thereof)
  • a journal is a solution finder!

It’s good for pretty much anything we encounter. It can be your best friend. I talk to my cat a lot but he doesn’t give me a lot of ideas. 🙂

Many of my friends, including myself journal with art / writing in combination. That is probably my favorite way to journal, but I like to write too, and it’s a lot quicker.

journal
journal
journal
art journal
journal
journal
journal
art journal

As you can see I have been busy making lots of art journals for my etsy shop. You can make your own easily. All you need is some heavy watercolor paper, acrylic paints and inks, some string. A while back I made a video on how to make a simple journal /art journal.

When you make your own, it truly becomes YOURS. There are so many ways you can make a journal. The library has books on book binding where you can get more ideas.

I find it to be lots of fun and inspiring too. I’ve gotten so inspired by making them that I keep making more and more, trying out different styles and combinations.

You can find some to buy in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY. 

I encourage everyone to spend an evening making one. Even if you don’t make it from scratch you can buy a journal or notebook and jazz it up.

If you want to write a journal online you can join 750 Words.com. You can also use a Word file and keep it on your computer. There are no rules.

When I was a kid I had a red journal with a gold chain and a lock. I don’t know how many times my brother tried to open that…  I don’t remember writing much in it but I loved it.

If you want to make a cloth-covered journal and more, I have a short e-course on making them. You can read about it HERE. 

I think I will go and do some art journaling now.

I hope you will do some type of journaling too. It’s really helpful!

xo

Maria

Inspired by emotion

Inspired by emotion is the title for the art journal video interview I had with artist Mel Bunny Sparkles. It was so much fun and she is full of inspiration and suggestions for new artists and veterans alike.

You will want to check out this video!

Bunny is the guest artist for June in my free 2017 Art Journaling Journey. If you haven’t signed up for the free prompts, you can do so HERE. You will receive all the prompts for this year via email. You can also join my Facebook group that is brimming with inspiration. CLICK HERE.

If you sign up for my regular art newsletter (top right corner of this page,) you will receive an art journal primer and a project to make. Great for beginners!  You have to start somewhere.

I also have many helpful art journal videos on YouTube under my own name. YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There are videos for beginners and for those who are looking for tips and tricks to jazz up their art journals.

art journaling
life at the beach

Have some fun, summer is here!

Lots of love and inspiration!

Maria

P.S I’m selling art journals ready-to-use in my etsy shop EARTH AND FAERY.

Empty well?

Empty well today?  Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:

MAKE CRAFTS

I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.

polymer clay mosaicI love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.

polymer clay mosaicI also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.

art journalI sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.

To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:

NATURE

If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.

There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.

YouTube

There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.

EXERCISE!

Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going.  Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…

ART PARTY

Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.

TAKE A NAP

When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂

If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.

Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”

Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)

xo

Maria