I looked out my kitchen window this morning, just as it was getting light outside, and realized that it is going to be a very foggy morning. The call finally came, although a couple hours later than usual under these kinds of weather-related circumstances, announcing that there is a two hour delay for our school. So I decided to take a bit of quiet time to do something creative – which has been challenging for the past several months with all of the home repairs, painting, and updating we’ve been doing. One of the creative projects that I seem to have going and in process most of the time is one of my art journals, so I thought it would be the perfect time to work on the next couple of pages in one I started this past summer.
There are a million and one different ways to create an art journal, if you should ever be so inclined, and you can pretty much do whatever works for you. I’ve seen some gorgeous art journal pages that are painted, stamped, stitched, glued, ripped, and lots of other more intricate techniques that I know nothing about. For those who have had professional art training, I’m thinking that there are techniques that I’ve never even thought of, and it is amazing the beautiful art work that can be created with lots of different styles and media that is available. So mine are pretty simple by contrast but it’s really more about having fun!
(Here’s a tiny notebook I made to go in one of the pretty pockets)
And art journaling, in all of its forms, can be so relaxing . . . . if you just do what makes you happy even if you aren’t a professional artist. Because my life-long creative passion has been “making stuff” with a needle and thread, as well as the written word, I’m not great at painting or drawing. Some of my art journals have painted pages, but I’ve not always been happy with the results because of the way the paint causes the paper to wrinkle. Maybe I’m OCD a bit about those things, or maybe I need to learn how to paint!
But I can cut, rip, glue, scribble, doodle, stitch, and poke holes just fine, so that’s mostly what I do when I find a few creative moments in my day. I can also keep my art journaling projects and supplied quite tidy (most of the time!) in one of those plastic totes with compartments for pens / pencils / markers, scissors, hole punch, and paint brushes, as well as a place for ribbons, buttons, lace, glue, and bits and pieces of pretty paper all in one place. That way everything I need when I have a few moments for creativity is right at my fingertips.
(This one is a tri-fold pocket with room inside to tuck a letter or a poem)
That is also helpful when there just isn’t room in your world for spreading out all of your art supplies – this way, even though we’ve had much of our home “rearranged” because of flood repairs, painting, and remodeling projects, I have this one tiny corner of my world where I can stay connected to my creative projects. It’s not perfect, and is sometimes rather overwhelming to work on this little project while all around me are HUGE projects that need to be done – but then I’m not a plumber or a construction guy or an electrician, so I can’t do those jobs anyway. Hope we can get them finished soon, but until then, I still have a small section of the counter top what is MINE, all MINE, where I keep my art supply tote (with a handle of course in case I need to move it again) and my work-in-progress, my pretty little art journal.
(Tip-out pages are fun, too! Even more room for telling your story in hidden pockets!)
Another great thing about art journaling is that it can also be quite therapeutic. Not as in helping a person recover from the flu or pneumonia or anything more serious . . . but therapeutic in the sense that you can express your thoughts and ideas in ways that you might not be able to . . . . ummmmm . . . say out loud, for example. Sometimes I have words and thoughts that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else, but if they get “stuck” in my head, then that’s where they stay. Kind of getting in the way of the other stuff I need to do in life. When I have time to get some of those ideas out of my head and into one of my little art journals, then my brain is free to focus on what’s going on in my life now. We all have some level of mental “mess” that gets in the way of our daily life because we are human and we have lived for a while.
(Envelopes are a fun addition to your art journal – this one is ready to be decorated.)
So art journaling, however it might work for you, really is a great avenue for expressing your creativity in relatively “small” ways, but it is also an opportunity to empty the “junk” out of your head and onto some pretty paper! Even if you can only find a few creative moments in a little corner of your world, you might discover that it is just what you’ve been looking for. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll have fun!
One of the things that I am doing with this art journal, entitled “Sometimes in the Silence . . . ,” is to include lots of little pockets and envelopes where I can jot down some of my thoughts, ideas, poetry, or letters that will never be sent and tuck them inside where they will be safe. So you too could fill up a little book with pretty pictures, or any other “stuff” you have around your house, and tell your story, even if no one ever reads it. Here are a few pictures of the most recent pages I’ve been working on.
(Sometimes my poems are hidden in plain sight!)
Tomorrow I’ll show you how I created that tiny notebook. Super simple but making little bitty books is always great fun and then you have another place to write, scribble, doodle, or draw!
Have you ever created an art journal? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment so I can stop by and visit you and see what you are up to this week!