Monday, November 19, 2012

A journal session for two

A few months ago one of my online pals, Chanou, mailed me to tell me she was going to come to the island with her family sometime in the fall. She asked if it would be too much trouble to spend a day together journaling, so she could finally get going on something she had been wanting to do for a long time. She even bought some books about it, but just needed a little jump start.

Meet Chanou! We both are bookgrrls! Bookgrrls is an online reading group for (dutchie) women.

Well, if I ever had a mission to go for world domination I would do it by making everybody journal, so of course I said yes. There cannot be too many art journalers in the world. Of course I was a little nervous too. The thing is that when you present yourself online and show your stuff, people start to think you actually know what you are doing, but the truth is I often feel like someone who's just dabbling and trying stuff out. Also I'm always a little worried that people who do this journaling thing for the first time will ask me questions and then think that my way is the only way. It's not. It's just my way. In short...I didn't want her expectations to be too high (that's probably my inner control freak worrying too much).

But Chanou insisted she just wanted to get some inspiration and to get over the hump of starting. So...we started. Last Saturday was J-day (journal day) and we spend almost the entire day exploring the wonderful world of art journaling. Here's a little  photo report of what we did.

I started by showing her how to make a simple one signature journal. We both made one of 16 pages that was A5 size, so nice and compact.  And no, like the forgetful person I am I did not take pictures of this process. Sigh....

Then it was time to get out the supplies for putting some color on the pages. We worked at my journaling table of course!

I showed her some simple backgrounds techniques with watercolor, acrylics, a sponge, babywipes and some stencils!

Here are some of Chanou's backgrounds:




Aren't they gorgeous? I noticed how much more detail she puts into them than I do. I love seeing how different another person can work with the same materials.

Here are some of my backgrounds:



I have much more of a tendency to splash and go and move on. For me the details usually don't come until I really start working on the pages. The background is just that....a background. Different approaches and both cool.

Then we started filling the pages with collage and penwork and other stuff. Time to pull out things like this:

Oh washi tape, how we love thee!

And here's Chanou picking and choosing what to do next. So much to choose from!

Of course we had way too little time to really fill our journals, but at least we got a start and here's some of the results. Keep in mind they are not always fully finished spreads.

These are some of Chanou's:


This is my favorite of hers.



And here are some of mine:


This is my favorite of mine.


All in all we worked for about five hours. And before that we had already done some 'research' by looking at some books and some of my old journals, so I could get a feel for what she wanted. It was fabulous.

At the end of the day we were rewarded with a wonderful dinner in the vacation rental where she and her family were staying. Chanou made some wonderful Carribean food, yum! If you want to know about her culinary endeavours you should totally check out her blog. She is very much into bento for instance and makes the most beautiful boxes.

Doing this made me realize how much fun it is to share your love for journaling with someone else and to pass on a little knowledge on techniques and materials. So if anybody among you is ever in the neighbourhood you're more than welcome to drop by and we'll have ourselves a private journaling session!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!



14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience for both of you -- and you each have a lovely journal!

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    1. Thanks Teri, we had a lovely time indeed!

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  2. Both journals look wonderful and Chanou certainly picked up quickly! One would never know this was her first journal. I really really love some of her backgrounds, especially the second image with the rainbow effect and the pink dots.

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    1. I'm secretly a little jealous of her beautiful backgrounds myself. ;-)

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  3. Lovely pages. I am jealous of your art lesson.

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    1. Well, grab a friend and have an art journal session of your own! ;-)

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  4. What fun, Caatje! I love the idea of journaling with a like-minded friend for five solid hours. Looks like Chanou got well on the road to an art journaling practice!

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    1. I know, I hopes she now has the courage to move on with it. It was a great start, that's for sure.

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  5. Caatje - I am with you all the way! I consider myself as someone experimenting and trying out new things. At first I showed some things to my g-daughter, and then we had a spring break class for her friends...every year I teach a bit more and a bit more...Others thinking I am the teacher, me thinking I am still a student...It might just be the way it is. Makes me happy. On to world domination - Journalers Unite!
    Lori W. at Art Camp for Women

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    1. I do indeed think it is just the way it is. I think it's because there's always more to learn and always more to try, so we never become full experts no matter how much experience we may have. I consider that a good thing by the way, it keeps the process interesting. ;-)

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  6. Sounds great (the experience) and looks great (the result)! Must have been fun!

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  7. hi Caatje! I'm way down under in Australia and I just read this post. I'd so love to spend a day....or even more!....journalling away on your island with you. sounds quite serene. maybe one day.......

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    1. Well, just let me know if you're ever in the neighborhood. You're more than welcome to drop by!

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