Journal Ephemera

This morning, I woke early-ish and thought I’d spend a little time on my journal.

On page 2 I’ve added one of my silhouette irises backed onto some pearlescent card that i coloured with Chameleon Color Top marker pens. I’ll be adding a quote beside the flower, when I find the perfect quote to go there!

Above the flower you can see a little tag with a semi-circular bottom that has a little pocket in it. The tag will flip up so I can hide some journaling or quote or something pretty and surprising behind it.

On both pages you can see paperclips that have inchies embellishing them. This is a fab way for me to use my inchies in a practical way.

Finally, you can see three mini paintings – two floral, one abstract – that I can use in future pages.

Unusually for me I started by painting the basic shapes of flowers and leaves. Then, I added stems and details using various colours of fineliner pens as well as a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen. I added some sparkly dot details with Sakura Stardust and Uniball Signo glitter gel pens.

For the abstract pattern, I painted arcs on the watercolour paper and when they were dried I added curved lines using a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen and a gold glitter Uniball Signo pen.

I’m not at all sure how I’ll use these, other than the colours of the three cards go really well together so they’ll help me with the colour scheme for another pair of pages further on in the journal, as well as making other ephemera and so on for it.

I do like relatively straight edges, neatly regimented bits and bobs in my journal. I’m not one for lace and frills and frothy additions. It’s not completely clean and simple; I do like old book paper that’s been torn. It’s like I need to control shapes and positions and arrange things ‘just so’, neat and tidy like. That may very well be my way with journal creation, which is in juxtaposition with those I see on youtube.

Being confident with something new, like making my own journal, is something that takes time, perseverance and patience – the patience mostly being with myself until I gain enough confidence.

It’s also the confidence that doing something different to others is perfectly fine.

Yesterday

I was missing in action yesterday. I was unsettled, dissatisfied with anything I tried to do, and needing a lot of sleep it seems. I kept away from the ‘puter and social media. So, no art was done (other than a couple of templates for Entangled Gardens) and no blog post was written (nor any other social media).

One lesson I have learned from my time in counselling/therapy was the importance of knowing when to exercise self-care. I try my best to do this, though sometimes it’s difficult as I know there are expectations and pressures I place on myself.

However, I have learned that if I try to push myself to do things when I’m just not in the right place to do them, I just get more and more frustrated and fed up. If I give myself the time and space to do what I need to do to take care of my emotional and mental health, when I settle down to work, the work flows more easily and I’m more satisfied with what I create.

Although I did draw two templates yesterday, I started three or four others and just threw them as I really wasn’t at all happy with them, and they really were nonredeemable.

Once those two were complete, I felt better about my deadline for the book, a bit more settled in myself. However, any other artistic things I tried I was just frustrated with. So, a complete break away was needed. So, it was crochet while binge watching American Gods on Amazon Prime Video.

I don’t know if I’m feeling any better today as far as art goes, I do know I need breakfast before I consider doing any!

Journal Making – 16 May 2020

The Cover

On waking this morning, I wanted to work on the cover of my journal.

Yesterday evening, I managed to get a coat of gesso on to the cover and painted edge closest to the wire binding with gold. In hindsight, that may not have been the best idea.

I knew I wanted to use my silhouette iris drawing on the cover. Irises are my favourite flowers. Also, my aim for my journal is to use my own art as much as possible.

So, I printed out an arrangement of three irises, tore them out and coloured the paper with Distress Inks.

For the background, I used a piece of Claire Fontaine mixed media paper. I coloured it with Distress Inks – Old Paper, Tea Dye, a touch of Iced Spruce and a dusting of Vintage Photo around the edges and here and there on the main sheet.

This I adhered to the cover. I’d cut it narrower than the cover so that I didn’t have to butt it up against the wire binding. That’s why I wanted a gold border there.

Anyway, I decided to put some old book paper behind the irises. I added some ink to the edges of this paper too. I then glued them in place, along with the flowers.

I drew a border around this page with a copper-coloured Sakura Metallic gelly roll pen. Then, I used a gold glitter Uniball Signo pen to fill the background with tiny spirals.

I wanted to add the definition of ‘journal’ to the front cover. So, I did the typography in Affinity Publisher and printed it. After tearing the meaning out, I used Old Paper and Tea Dye Distress Inks to colour the paper, followed by Vintage Photo to ink the edge.

I then glued this to an old book page, tore that out and edged the paper with ink once again.

Before adhering the page to the cover, edged the paper with Ground Espresso Distress Ink as I didn’t think the edge was dark enough. I also coloured the edge of the journal cover with the same ink to hide the white.

An application of Distress Micro-glaze to seal the page and I could stick it to the cover.

I love the subtle sparkle of the spiral pattern on the cover. The micro-glaze picked up some of the fine glitter. It also makes the cover sheet feel very smooth.

I’m not happy with the gold edge to the journal, but I will, no doubt, find a way to make it look much better. Otherwise, I’m quite happy with the cover. I think it needs something else there, but I’ll work out what that is in the fullness of time.

The first three pages.

Page 1 I’ve shown before, and it’s now complete (apart from me adding journaling to the envelopes and other spaces.)

On page 2, I’ve added an experiment I did with Tombow Dual Brush Pens and a blender pen to draw designs on paper. I have some ATC cards coloured in the same blues/purples as the background of this page, so I’ll be finding a way to display them on the page when I’ve finished them.

Page 3 is a tiered series of simple pockets. I made them by tearing the paper of each page and layering them to create the pockets. The inserts are pieces of Claire Fontaine Mixed media paper that have been coloured in the same colours of Distress Inks as the pockets have been. I used Distress Oxide Inks for the pockets.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with the third page, yet. It will come to me, I’m sure!

Adobe Spark

I thought that I’d use Adobe Spark to make a short video rather than posting a montage of photos. I uploaded it to my channel on youtube so I could share it via social media more easily.

Adobe Spark is straightforward to use, and it does have a free option, though I pay about £10 per month for it. It makes creating simple content for social media really easy.

How am I feeling

I’m feeling much better today. The headache and light-headed/dizzy/drowsy feelings were with me for the whole day, including upset tummy and digestive system. I had weird pains in my right eye too. I slept a lot during the day, and just took it easy when I was awake. I wanted to crochet in the evening but found it hard to do even something familiar to me.

My digestive system is still uncomfortable and not quite right today, and I’m now beginning to feel rather tired. Like I’ve already done too much today. So, I’m going to be taking it easy for the rest of the day.

Art Journal Bits and Bobs

Art Journal Bits and Bobs © Angela Porter |Artwyrd.com

I’ve become a bit obsessed with making art journal bits and bobs over the last couple of days. This morning has been no exception, other than the more I do and watch, the more ideas that come to me.

Inchies

Yesterday, I created some blank, printable, templates for inchies, twinches and tea cards. I printed them out on plain paper so I could draw in them. I also made a list of themes I could tackle for them too.

I spent an hour or two filling in a sheet of inches with various designs. Then, I printed them on plain paper and also vellum for calligraphy. The vellum has a rough texture, interesting colours and subtle patterns in them. I have a laser printer, so wasn’t sure if it would print on the vellum; it did, however the print does come off if I’m a bit rough with it.

Nevertheless, I coloured some of the inches with Distress Inks and then adhered them to some 1″ tiles of thick chipboard card. I edged them with tresure gold wax from Imagination Crafts. Then, I gently applied a thin layer of Ranger’s gloss multi-media medium, to see if it would seal the laser printing; it did! It also brought out the colours of the Distress Inks.

Seed packets/envelopes

These are simple enough to make. There are plenty of tutorials online for them. I made them from ordinary printer paper, then coloured them with Distress Inks.

Next, I added some dot embellishments using a small ball tool with Imagination Crafts’ Starlights metallic paint in rich gold. This is a beautiful, glittery, shiny paint that leaves some dimension when applied this way.

Finally, I adhered the inchies I’d made, along with some vintage book paper, to the envelopes.

I’m not sure if these envelopes are finished. I do want to use them to store either journaling notes in, or little pieces of art or mementos in them.

Tags

I haven’t been at all sure about tags and using them. However, I thought I’d see what I could do with them after yesterday’s mucking about with a tri-fold tag that turned into one single tag.

I wanted to make some templates for cutting the corners at the top of the tags, so I did that, using various widths of paper and slopes to remove the top corners.

I then realised I needed something to store them in, so I made an envelope for them.

The envelope has a more rectangular top flap and a plain front, perfect for embellishments.

Backgrounds

Something occurred to me this morning while watching someone make tags using background paper. I thought that I could use my colouring sheets and entangled designs as my own background paper. So, I thought I’d try to use some.

I found some old designs on my computer and printed a couple of them both as the black line originals and with a grey line.

I made a tag and cut out a piece of one of the designs. I coloured the design with Distress Inks and used them to subtly colour the tag.

I didn’t like the way the neatly cut out background pattern looked when I placed it on the tag. So, I tore the edges. I still wasn’t happy, so I tried tearing it into strips. That looked better, but I still wasn’t happy with it, but I stuck the pieces down.

I used a gold glitter gel pen to add lines and patterns between the torn pieces, which created some pattern and interest.

Finally, I added a distress ink coloured belly band along with a word, “creativity” to the tag. For now, I tucked one of the seed packets behind the belly band.

The background drawing may be just too busy, detailed, and varied to work well. I need to bear this in mind going forward.

Notebook

I am keeping notes of how I make tags, pockets, and other bits and bobs in an A5 dot grid notebook, along with ideas for other things to do or try. It’s turning out to be rather useful as a reference.

Acceptance

I’m struggling with accepting that what I’m creating for my art journal is “good enough”, “attractive enough”, “pretty”. It’s not like others I’ve seen, which is part of my problem.

I seem to like, mostly, neat edges, borders on work, very organised, neat, and carefully, geometrically arranged elements in my designs. I know I want to use my own artwork to create a journal, but I’m not sure it’s going to be successful in any kind of way. I have no idea if I’m on a wild goose chase.

I know I enjoy making these bits and bobs, I just don’t know if the overall end products actually work, so I’m doubting myself. I’m not sure I like what I’m creating. I mean, I really like individual elements such as the inchies and little panels on the envelopes. It’s when I start to actually combine them or put them into a journal that it all seems to go more than a bit skew-iffy.

I’m at that uncomfortable place I often find myself in when I’m creating a mandala or drawing or digital painting; partway through I want to give up as I think that what I’m creating is awful and not working. With the mandalas, drawings and digital art, I’ve learned to work through that point and, mostly, to complete the work. I’ve learned by experience and perseverance that I can produce art I’m happy with.

I’m not at all sure of that with this art journal type stuff. I’m not sure at all if I can find my own creative ‘voice’ with this, or whether I have to accept that as much as I’d like it to be one of my ‘things’ it’s not meant to be and that I can continue to watch and admire others for what they create.

Maybe, I’ll end up making digital elements for journals for others to use in their creations. Maybe, I’ll find that collections of inchies are my thing (along with twinchies and tea cards and other little designs).

For now, I’ll take a bit of a break from it all, and come back to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.

Art Journal WIP

Art Journal WIP © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve been awake since around 4 am yet again, and after watching a couple of journal making videos on youtube by Wendy’s Journal Adventure and Tracie Fox LoveJunk Journals, I wanted to get up and have a go at creating a tri-fold tag for my own art journal.

I had an idea that I can use the little drawings I like to do as ephemera and embellishments and focal points in my art journal, rather than using ephemera from other sources like books, printables, and so on. I’m sure I’ll find more uses for them if I persevere with this project.

So, back to the tri-fold tag. It was my plan to make such a tag for my art journal. However, as usual, my plans often take a slightly different route!

I started by working out the size of tri-fold tag I wanted to make – to fit an A5 sized art journal.

I settled on a piece of mixed media paper cut down to 11.5″ x 7″, which I scored at 3.75″, 4″, 7.75″ and 8″ to create the three tags joined by hinges. I cut the top corners off each tag panel.

I coloured the front and back of the paper using Distress Oxide inks and sprayed water to distress the surface more. Then, I used vintage photo Distress ink to edge all the sides and folds to frame the panels .

I’d chosen colours that would go with some ATC s I was drawing last night while attending a webinair and listening to the speakers. However, the Distress Oxide inks resulted in a much brighter colour and I really wasn’t happy with the result. I will use this panel to use as a reference in future, not so much for sizes but for ideas for pockets and panels and envelopes and so on.

So, I started again. I used Distress Oxide inks, but this time I used tea dye and vintage photo, applying them as lightly as I could. I also coloured some copier paper using the same colours in Distress Inks, with a hint of rusty hinge added to the mix.

I was much happier with the colours this time around.

I liked the idea of using a ‘belly band’ with little envelopes tucked into it. So, I used 5″ square pieces of the coloured copier paper to make some little envelopes (2.5″ x 3″). Two of these would fit neatly on one of the panels. So, I made a 0.75″ x 7″ belly band, and coloured it with the same inks as the panels. I applied thin beads of glue to the ends and centre of the belly band and then adhered it to the panel, off-set to the right of the centre line.

When the glue dried, I had two sections that would hold one envelope each.

My next job was to rummage through my stash of coloured papers to find ones that would go together and were sympathetic with the background.

I drew some panels to add to the envelopes and also the space between them. I backed the panels with vintage book paper. Then, I hand lettered some words on a piece of coloured copier paper. I chose ‘Journal’ and ‘Reflect’ from the selection, cut them out. I used both vintage book paper and a piece of coloured paper behind them to make labels that I attached to the belly band above each envelope.

Finally, for now, I used a gold glitter Signo gel pen by Uniball to add dots and highlights.

It was then that I realised I really wasn’t happy with the tri-fold tag as I’d made it. So, I set about cutting the tags apart so I had three individual tags. I want to join them together in a different way, using hinges of some kind.

But for now, tiredness has caught up with me, as well as the need for some breakfast. So, I will put my project to one side for now and return to it later.

Reflections

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this, not yet anyway. I kind of like what I’ve seen other people do as far as ideas go for pockets, tags, labels, envelopes, pouches and all kinds of ephemera for art journals. However, they’re also not really ‘me’. I’d like to find a way of expressing ‘me’ in an art journal.

The one I have, in an A4 sketchbook is fine, and a perfect place to try things out. But, I’d like to do a smaller art journal that has sturdier, mixed media paper in it.

I do know I want to make use of my own artwork. Today, I drew the designs onto the coloured card. However, I quite like the idea of building up a digital library of my own drawings and designs that I could print out on paper and colour accordingly.

Although I hand lettered the words I used today, part of me isn’t happy with them and wants to create them in Affinity Publisher.

All the paper I start with is bright white in colour. Perhaps I could look at using different papers and colours of paper for future projects.

One other thing I’m doing, is keeping notes and diagrams showing templates and dimensions for various ephemera.

I’m babbling here, now. The early morning and lack of enough sleep last night is really catching up with me now. Time to post this then go get breakfast and more tea!

Sketchbook Saturday

Sketchbook Saturday 2 May 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I am enjoying working a little either on my sketchbook-journal or preparing bits and bobs for it each day.

The main thing I wanted to do this morning was to get some little word tags prepared and in use.

I created a list of words I’d like to add to bits and bobs of art. I copied the list, using different fonts, then printed out an A4 sheet of the words. I made a second sheet using different words and different fonts. Then, I cut the sheets up into smaller pieces for storage.

Then, I realised I’d need to create a storage space for them in my sketchbook and thought an envelope would be the easiest way. I do have some commercially produced envelopes, but I thought it was time to use my We’R’Memory Keepers envelope punch board for a more custom size.

I cut an 8″ x 8″ piece of ordinary printer paper. I coloured the paper with distress oxide inks (old paper, tea dye and dried marigold) and then made an envelope that measures 3.5″ x 6″.

I then realised I needed a way to keep the envelope closed. I could tuck the flap inside the envelope, but as I used copy paper I didn’t know how durable it would be. So, I came up with the idea of having a little pocket to tuck the corner of the flap into. And that meant I could cut out “words” from one of the lists and add it to the little pocket.

Before I did that, I aged the edges of the label with Distress Ink. Next, I glued it to a an old book page and cut it out with a border of text. That layer was also edged with Distress Ink, then it was added to the pocket. I used a metallic Gelly Roll pen to draw around the label.

On the page, you can see some small drawings I’ve done over the past couple of days.

On the left of the page are three ATC cards (2.5″ x 3.5″) made from a piece of mixed media paper coloured with the same Distress Oxide Inks.

On the right, is a larger artwork, an experiment and exploration of what I could do. I collaged some Distress Oxide coloured pieces of paper on to the background. I added metallic gold and copper paint to some of the pieces, and also to create patterns behind them. I drew little designs too, including a Dangle Design from one.

I’m not all that happy with the ‘explore’ card. There are bits I like, and other bits where I think I messed up. I think if I’d left it with the gold patterning on the background and just some simple patterns on some of the collaged rectangles, maybe some gold paint on the smaller ones, then it would’ve worked out better.

I think I’m going to make a vellum envelope or pocket to store the ATC cards in. Vellum in translucent and so will provide a tantalising glimpse of the card(s) safely stored within.

The ‘explore’ card will be placed into the sketchbook, with notes and reflections about it. It’s one that will be a learning experience more than anything else.

Sketchbook Page

Sketchbook Page © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

I’ve been awake since stupid o’clock, which roughly translates to 3:30am BST. While I was trying to get back to sleep I watched a youtube video about making pockets and tuck-ins for an altered book journal.

I thought that could be something good for my sketchbook-journal. I have worried a little about gluing my little artworks into it, but pockets, tuck-ins, see-through envelopes could be a good way to both show the work and store it in a non-permanent way.

So, with my mind now working and sleep eluding me, I decided to have a go at making my own pockets. You can see the result at the top right, with a journalling card popped in one of them for now.

How I made the pockets

I used some ordinary white card, cut it into what I thought would be good sizes to make a set of stacked pockets for the ATC sized cards I’ve been working on.

I then coloured the cards with Distress Oxide Inks. For one of them, I used a brayer to add ink to a gelli plate. Before pulling a print, I spritzed the gelli plate with water that had some white perfect pearls added to it.

For another panel, I used the brayer to add ink directly to the paper. It did that unevenly. So, I used a ball-tool to carve some texture into the black side of a piece of cut and try foam and used that to add colour. That worked really well! Dabbing the foam added a lovely textured layer of colour. A spritz of water activated the dusty, chalky, soft nature of the Distress Oxides.

I enjoyed the look I achieved with the distressed foam that I coloured the remaining pair of paper panels in the same way.

I then tore the top edge of each panel, for added interest, then used a piece of foam and Rich Mahogany Distress Ink to add grunginess to the edges of each panel.

I wanted to add some embellishments to each panel, so I used a copper sparkle Gelli pen to draw patterns on them.

Finally, I used Tombow Mono adhesive to stick the panels together.

When I put the panels on the page in my sketchbook-journal, I thought a panel behind them. So, I coloured a panel of the same card with Distress Oxide inks and the distressed piece of foam and used the same gelly roll pen to add some sparkly patterns. Then, I adhered the back panel and pockets to my sketchbook.

When I tested some ATC cards in the pockets, I realised I need to work out a way for some more ‘give’ in the pockets as they’re too tightly put together to slip more than one ATC card in them. Also, I placed them just low enough down the page so the ATC card doesn’t stick out of the sides of my sketchbook.

I’m not well known for my fore-planning projects like this, though I do try to learn as I go along.

Inchies and Twinchies

My mind was working in weird ways this morning. As I was making the pockets, my mind strayed to inchies and twinchies. I’ve not made any of these for a long, long time. I thought it could be fun to do so and add them to my sketchbook-journal.

I cut two 1″ wide, and one 2″ wide strips of card. I used the distressed foam to apply Distress Oxide inks to them, spritzing with water to add to the distressed look. Then, after drying with a heat tool, I cut them into squares – 1″ x 1″ inches and 2″ x 2″ twinchies.

I decided to use metallic watercolours from Cosmic Shimmer to add a sparkly, shimmery border to each tile. I used rich gold, pale gold or copper on each tile.

Then, I got to draw on the tiles. Teeny, tiny zentangle-style drawings. That was fun to do!

After adding some dots using a white Sakura Soufflé pen, I adhered the inchies into my sketchbook-journal. I’ve left the twinchies for decoration later.

Journaling cards

I realised that I could stored journalling cards in the pockets. All I needed to do was to colour the back of one of the ATC cards I coloured a few days ago. I also just realised that I could have added a layer of squared, dot grid or lined paper to write on too. That’s an idea for another time, maybe.

After drying the ink, I used a rollerball pen to add what notes I wanted to about this mornings creative sessions.

In fact, I’ve just created another journaling card to jot down ideas and notes to self as a result of reflecting on my pre-dawn arty activities!

Sketchbook Sunday

Sketchbook Pages – 26 April 2020 ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

Over the week I’ve been adding to my sketchbook- notes and images, ideas and reflections.

Each page has been coloured with combinations of Distress Inks, applied using the black side of a piece of Cut and Dry foam, followed with a spritz of water to bring out some water-staining grungy loveliness.

All the little drawings have been done on either Daler-Rowney Smooth watercolour paper (300gsm) or mixed media paper, either from Claire Fontaine or Daler-Rowney. The papers have been coloured with Distress Oxide Inks, Distress Inks, or a combination of them. Most of the pieces have had the inks applied with the foam, but some were made by brayering Distress Oxide inks onto a gelli plate and taking a print of them.

The reflection about what I like, what I don’t like, and ideas that arise is important to me in my sketchbook/journal. I do reflect on my art, a bit too much in my head. When I write it down, it forces my sometimes abstract and swirling thoughts into some kind of order. When I make these thoughts a material manifestation by writing them down, it helps me to recognise the thoughts, sift through that which is useful, and still record those that are not particularly useful at this moment but may be in the future.

I think I need to find a way to do this with my digital art. My mind goes to using One Note to do this. I shall think on this one, and make a note of it in my physical sketchbook/journal.