Friday, March 15, 2013

How Caatje got her journal mojo back

You all may remember that a few weeks ago I talked about the struggles I had with my journaling in the White Book. If not, you can read about it here. Well, I'm happy to inform you that I'm back on track and having a blast in my journal again! Phew, what a relieve!

I guess from the title you are now hoping that I have some magic formula as to how I achieved this, but I'm afraid I only have one advise to give you: keep struggling until the struggle is over. That's pretty much what happened with me.

Let's look at this spread first to give a little clue about how it happened (although I don't really have a clue, haha).


The page on the left I already showed you in my aforementioned post. It was me trying to find my style by emulating other people's. In this case I was leaning a bit towards Kelly Kilmer and trying to mix it with my own old style as done in the altered atlases. I liked the page well enough, but something about the process wasn't right yet.

Then later I did the page on the right. And the opposite happened, which was really weird. I'm not too crazy about how the page looks, but the process was all me and it was a lot of fun to make. That gave me hope somehow that things would turn out alright.

I think the key was that I used my own photographs and ephemera from my everyday life instead of from magazines, the poem for instance, which was posted on my online reading group. In my former journals the most personal element was the writing. I did add my own photographs from time to time, but mostly it was magazine images and postcards and such. That was okay, I loved working that way and the writing still made the pages me.


I guess this just set me on the right track. I knew then it was important to use my own elements, my own imagery and somehow mix it with the wonderful ready made stuff that I have like washi tapes and scrapbook stickers. I love using all the things that are available in art stores and in magazines and I don't want to stop using them in my journals.

And then I remembered how I had explored this new style of filling a spread in my Quinn Book. You can see some of those pages here. The point was to use this ready made stuff like stencils and rub-ons in an unusual way. And somehow things just clicked. I can't explain it any other way. 

So here are some of my latest journal spreads from the White Book. I'm showing you both the full spread as the separate pages, because I'm only doing one page at a time right now, not full spreads.










You can see familiar elements returning like my dashed lines, lots of little stickers and the use of washi tape. But as a whole I fill up a page more and I use pretty papers as a background together with watercolour. I think I'm actually sort of turning into an artsy scrapbooker! I don't mind, I love the look of these pages and what's more important: they are totally me and it feels really good to make them. They fulfill my need to make attractive layouts as I did in the Moon Journal for instance, but without the tons of writing (which I now do in a separate writing journal).

As soon as I have explored this new approach a bit further and find a bit more of a routine in my journaling I will definitely show you some step by step pages so you can see how they come together. For now I'm just happy experimenting and trying out things and seeing where I can take this.

I hope you like these pages as much as I do and I also hope I gave you some inspiration to keep going at it when things aren't going well at all. It will all work out in the end, keep trying. And remember that feeling good about the process is far more important than the end result.

Wishing you a wonderful and artsy weekend!

28 comments:

  1. I love all the colors and patterns you use. Looking at your work makes smile! Everything you make has so much beauty to it, and your love of creating shows on every page.

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    1. Thanks Lynn, if I was going for a certain look than that's exactly what I would be going for. I so want people to enjoy creativity and share my joy in it.

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  2. Caatje, I love this post, and I love the pages. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to seeing some future pages and the process you used to do them. Your cat is beautiful too. Linda E.

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    1. Thank you Linda! My cat thanks you too! ;-)

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  3. You certainly have your mojo back. I particularly love your fern and butterfly page. Happy weekend :-)

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    1. That and the tree page are my favourites too. I'm trying to think up a way to incorporate more drawing with my photographs, but haven't figured it all out yet. Happy weekend to you too.

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  4. Love your pages, Caatje!
    My belief is... nothing COMPARES to that feeling of " THIS IS ME!!" in your work. :]
    cheers, my friend. ~xx

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    1. I agree, but sometimes it takes a lot of 'this-is-not-me' to get to that point. ;-)

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  5. Looks great! Love the tree and the leaf spread!

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  6. oooh i luv the 2nd to last page w/ the leaf! Something about it just makes me happy.. :)
    I'm glad you got your mojo back!
    Sometimes it's hard to break out of the "this is the way I've always done it"- even when that way isn't really working for you anymore..

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    1. It is hard to let go of routines and old ways. I was very happy with my 'old' style, but needed to move on to something that fits me better right now. Thanks for your kind words. The leaf picture made me go 'wow!' when I took it.

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  7. These are great pages. I think I have my new favorite quote (keep struggling until the struggle is over). That applies to so many things in life, not just a journal page. Keep up the good work! I always enjoy it.

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    1. Thank you Pat. As for the struggling on: I think we have no choice if we don't want to stay stuck.

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  8. Aw Caatje...I'm glad you 'struggled' through it and got your mojo back...but I never would've thought it was gone by what you've been producing!!! Love your pages as always.

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    1. LOL! I think the problem was not so much that I wasn't able to make presentable pages, but more that the process to make them just wasn't me. It made me feel weird about them.

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  9. Great to see you finding the place you feel most comfortable with your journals. I love the photos on your pages...makes your art journal even that much more personal!

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    1. Thanks Andria, and I totally agree of course.

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  10. Um, you were struggling? Looks like you've got your mojo back just great! These are very fun. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yep, I really was. I know the pages looked okay objectively speaking, but the way I came to them just didn't feel right. Too forced and constrained, not me at all.

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  11. Fijn dat je je eigen weg weer gevonden hebt. De pagina's zijn prachtig, vooral de pagina met het varenblad.

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    1. Dank je wel Annet! Varenblad en boom zijn mijn favorieten.

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  12. Caatje - I love your journal pages. I really like the tree and fern pages where you have a photo and then a drawing around it that relates to the photo - fantastic!!
    As always, thank you for the inspiration and thoughtfulness.

    Dawn

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    1. Those are my favourites too Dawn. I'm trying to find a way to incorporate that idea into other pages, but not sure yet how. Thank you for your kind words.

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  13. Love these pages, especially the fern. I enjoy your use of color. BTW, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

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  14. I love these pages, Caatje! I often think my journals are something like artful scrapbooks; however, I spend too much time trying to figure out placement. So if You do post a tutorial, I'll truly enjoy that, because I do need help in figuring out how to arrange elements without having to spend hours deliberating! xoxoxo

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    1. Thank you Teri. With me it's pretty much a one step at a time process. I never really think much further then the next little thing. Sometimes this can get me into trouble, but usually it works out.

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