Monday, September 1, 2014

Introducing Flora (the new journal)

Let me introduce you to Flora, my current journal. She's a big girl measuring a little over 8x11 inches.

She's had a bit of a rough start. Here's how that happened:

About a year and a half ago I bought this big Dylusions journal at the Kreadoe art supply fair that I attend every year. I intended to use it as a journal sometime in the future, but after sitting in my cupboard for a year I still hadn't used it.

Then I became interested in botanical drawings and flowers and thought: why not use this journal just for drawing, doodling and making art about flowers and trees? So that's what I decided to do and the sketchbook was named 'Flora' to represent its subject of the plant world.

Well...that didn't go well. I did do a few things in it and decorated the cover, but somehow it just didn't take off the way I hoped it would. Putting too many expectations on a sketchbook is never a good thing for me and then I start to avoid it. So Flora was abandoned again.

Then last june I had this idea of seperating the visual journal from the written journal for a while and to use Flora as my visual journal while I wrote in a notebook. Guess how many pages that produced?....Exactly one! So...not a good idea probably and again Flora sat on the shelves.

Me and my big ideas! Sigh...

With all these false starts I felt kind of bad for the poor book. I know, I must be a little crazy to have 'feelings'  for books, but when I use a journal they become steady companions over a period of time and with Flora I felt like a disloyal treacherous 'friend'. This is a beautiful sketchbook/journal and it just felt wasteful not to use it.

So when I finished the Book of Luck and had to pick a new journal I decided to move on with Flora and I must far so good! It does mean that the first few spreads in this book are from months ago, but we'll just call that part of her special history. ;-)

Anyway, after this long intro, here are the first pages from Flora, my current journal:

Not all of the above is fully finished. I still intend to decorate the envelope on the inside cover and I also want to do a background on the wraith spread. When those things are done I'll of course show them to you.

In any case I am glad Flora is finally in good use. I do like her paper and her size, even though I do have to get used to it as well. She's not easy to carry with you I can tell you that! ;-) But at least I'm working in this book and enjoying it.

Just to be sure that I picked the right book for my next journal I asked my assistant and he tested it extensively.

"Yep! Very comfortable!"

Sounds like a keeper to me! ;-)

Have a wonderful and artsy week!


  1. SO great to meet Flora and hear the story of your relationship - and so comforting to know that you have these fits and starts happen to you as well. My favorite line in this post is: "me and my big ideas... sigh" - that is what I say about myself ALL the time!! We must be related... :-)

    1. LOL! Indeed. And...I think we have a lot more relatives out there suffering the same condition, haha.

  2. Yes, true that! I like the seal of approval the kitty gave to Flora. And I was happy to see the little bird there again!

    1. Yes, the approval is very important, after all half the time when I don't use the journal he will be lying on top of it. ;-)

  3. Caatje -- I too have a field testing companion -- actually, three! your post made me very happy because I have been looking for a reasonably priced book to do nature studies in, and to find one with a collecting envelope is a bonus. Thanks!

    As always, I love your art journal pages. Flora is a doll!


    1. Thank you Kerowyn. How lovely you have three companions. I have been thinking about a second one, but my assistant seems so content on his own that I don't think it would please him at all to have another house mate. ;-) I used to have two black cats (brother and sister) and they were a lovely pair.
      As for the journal, it is rather big. You might like to know dylusions also makes a small version that has an envelope on the inside cover too. I used one for my midwinter journal last december. You can see it here:

  4. Love the story of Flora. Haven't got many pages left in my watercolour journal and thinking I will like a change after that. I have one of those dylusions journals in my cupboard....Smiled to read the comment about housework vs reading - that happens to me often ;-)

    1. I should say that the paper in the journal is not really suitable for lots of really wet media. I can watercolour on it, but not do things like wet in wet or too many layers and even with markers you have to be a little careful. Just thought you might want to know. The paper is beautiful though and nice and thick.
      And yes, reading is so much more interesting than housework, haha.

  5. Hi Caatje,
    I just came across your blog and absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. It's so inspiring!

  6. Welcome to my blog E. Hope you drop by from time to time and thank you for your kind words!


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