Thursday, May 31, 2012

More from the Moon Journal

Working in my Moon Journal is sheer journaling bliss. I feel perfectly spoiled with its huge spreads and its bright colors. I wish it would go on forever. Well, I would if I didn't have a preference for variety above all other preferences.

Thankfully this journal still has a long way to go before it's filled up. I'm working on several ideas for my next journal already and they vary from the Little Book of which you have already seen snippets to the square ROD journal that is in the making and has been temporarily put on the shelf, but not forever.

I'm also considering an extra large moleskine cahier and two journals that I bought through Etsy from other creative journal makers. A journal made by somebody else almost feels like a collaboration. ;-)

It's wonderful and horrible at the same time to have so many options. Wonderful because it adds to the variety of shapes and sizes of journals and horrible because I'm the type of person who only works in one journal at a time, so I can't choose everything at once as I would like to.

I may keep several sketchbooks and artsy books at once but the actual daily journal is always just one at a time and I always work through it chronologically front to back. That's just the way I like it. A journal is a steady companion for several months and I fill about four to five of them every year. The Moon Journal is number three for this year.

Every journal is my new favorite, I can't help it. Looking back over the years and journals I have filled I love how different they all are. I'm actually thinking about doing a post in the future about journals past so you can see how my journaling has evolved over time and how my first art journals look. Might be interesting. What do you think?

Today I just leave you with these images of the Moon Journal. The last one is not finished yet, because as you can see it has no writing on it. I just thought you might like to see how the spreads look before I start writing on them. I always decorate first and write later. I will show this one when it's written on as well in another post.

Hope you're all having a wonderful week and are doing something artsy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last pages in the watercolor sketchbook

Let me start by saying that today it is exactly two years ago that I started this blog! I cannot believe I have kept it up so long, because it's more my style to become tired with something new and move on to the next. This is also why I had been putting it off for two years before I even started. But when you keep thinking about something long enough it may be time to start it up and so I did.

And now I'm so gratefull I went through with it. This blog has been a blessing even if sometimes it's a chore to keep it up. What I get out of it is so much more than I have to put into it, so it's well worth it. Of course it's you my blogsy people who make this experience so worth while and I want to thank each and every one of you for your visits, your comments,  your encouragement and your participation. Thank you thank you thank you! ;-)

Today I finished up my watercolor sketchbook, the one I started a little over a year ago at Easter 2011. There were times I never thought I would finish it up, but now I have and I want to show you the last seven pages.

The first page is a little journal entry that I did while I was on the morning ferry, on my way to visit my family. I don't mind the travel so much, but I do mind that the morning ferry leaves at 7 am. I'm so not a morning person and that's what this page is about. ;-)

The final pages of the sketchbook were pretty much all about experimenting with patterns and shapes and colors. Sometimes that worked out really well and sometimes it didn't.

The next one I did on the same morning as the one above. It's a lot of stacked writing that I did with felt tip pens. I wanted to see how the pattern looked with many different colors on top of each other.  I think it would make a nice background for a journal page or it could be interesting to do it on thinner paper and turn it into collage fodder.

I love drawing swirls. I don't know why. Often when I doodle absentmindedly I will draw different size swirls next to each other. This time I decided to color them in with watercolor. The result is quite interesting as a pattern.

Inspired by the colors I used for the swirls I decided to do some doodling directly in watercolor. This was inspired by the pretty papers I made in gouache a while ago. I wanted to see if maybe I could create some abstract pages with a different feel to them.

On another day I took this a bit further and made smaller shapes in different shades of brown. I really like these pages. There's something tribal about them. They are also a lot of fun to do. Basically I just start with one shape in one color and then gradually add shapes in different colors all over the page. I have no idea what will happen when I start and that's actually my favorite way of art making.

I wanted to use the same brown shades for a more organic kind of page with flowers and leaves. I'm only moderately content about this one, but that's the risk of experimenting. I don't hate it and I don't love it. It was fun to do though and that counts for something too. ;-)

And so we come to the last page and it may very well be the least attractive page in the entire journal! Consider this an experiment gone wrong. Live and learn. It's too...crowded, unbalanced. It just doesn't work. But...I want you to see the lesser stuff too. I think it's important that people know that not everything they  make will work out and some stuff will be...well...pretty abismal really. ;-)

So now this sketchbook is full. The next carry along sketchbook will be a square sized 6x6 Seawhite of Brighton one and I can't wait to get started in it, even though it's always a little intimidating to know that you have so many pages to fill yet before a new book is finished.

Hope you enjoyed this sketchbook peek and hope you carry around a sketchbook yourself wherever you go! Wishing you a wonderful artsy week!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Imagine a forest with birds twittering and trees pleasantly rustling in the wind...

Imagine it's Friday afternoon, that moment when the week tourists have left and the weekend tourists not yet arrived, so the roads are mostly clear...

Imagine coming by a pond where some yellow flowers are blooming on the banks...

Now imagine that pond in it's entirety and how quiet it is there...

Imagine arriving at a beach where the wind is blowing so it cools the warmth of the sun just right and you are thankful for not living on the main land where the temperatures would be too high for you....

Imagine being the only one leaving traces in the windblown sand....

Imagine finding a perfect spot to sit for several hours and unwind....

Imagine being able to put your bare feet in the beach sand for the first time this year....

Imagine having brough your pink backpack with a book, a notebook, a sketchbook, some water, some sun tan lotion and some dried apricots...

Imagine stretching out to a clear blue sky....

Imagine remaining in that spot for hours, resting and reading, and then on your way back finding a castle in the sand...

Imagine the trees being so green and the forest smelling above all of pine trees...

Imagine coming across another pond where frogs are merrily having very loud conversations....

Imagine just before your last few yards home, you come across one more idyllic spot like this...

Now imagine that while doing all this you are fully aware of the fact that it's only Friday afternoon and you still have a three day weekend ahead of you that will pretty much be a repetition of the above...

That is my life as it is right now, my blogsy people, and I just had to share it with you!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What are you up to Wednesday - part 46 (woyww 155)

Even though I have been working at my desk, the view must seem quite similar to last week. That's because I'm still working on the same project, the little journal that I'm putting together. I just finished two more spreads and another one is currently ready to be finished on my table. It just needs a few more details. To not give the exact same picture as last week I thought I'd give you a wider view.

I often get comments on how organized my work tables are, but I can make messes too as you can see. It's true though that I like to know where things are and keep them sorted by kind. You know tape with tape, images with images, paints with paints, that kind of thing. I'm not overly precise and if you were able to see really up close you would also see I'm not a very good cleaner, but I do like my bit of order in the world. ;-)

Then I wanted to share something that happened weeks ago already, but that I keep forgetting to tell you about, namely the fact that I am now officially a photoshop brush! Um...let me rephrase that: some of my freebie labels were turned into photoshop brushes by people who know how to do these things (me not being one of those people obviously). I was contacted by a representative of the site that provides people with free photoshop add-ons and elements and they wanted to use the freebie-labels that I made last year to make some brushes. Since they would offer them for free I agreed. Here they are (if you click on the image it will take you to their site):

I think you have to become a member of their site to use them though. I do know that joining is free too. I think it's pretty cool that somebody thought my labels would make cute brushes. So just in case there are some photoshop lovers amongst you, you might like to check it out or maybe just find out if their site is anything for you to explore.

So that's all for today. If you wish to see more worktables go check out Julia's link up.
I hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Unfinished spreads from the Little Book

Ooh, I just had a four day weekend and it was wonderful. Relaxing and unwinding, that was just what I needed. I didn't do a whole lot of art, but I was inspired by many hours of walking and lots of reading and one day of way too much shopping.  I also got a lot of sunshine, because despite pessimistic weather reports it was beautiful sunny weather.

But now it´s back to work and back to the studio, so let me show you some artsy stuff!

The project that is currently most on my mind is the little journal that I put together recently. I´ve decided to name it The Little Book, because that´s exactly what it is, especially if you compare it to my current everyday journal The Moon Journal which as you know is an altered atlas.

The Little Book is put together from A4 sized papers that were painted with acrylic paints. They were folded into one signature of 32 pages measuring 15x21 cm. Some of the pages were bound off center, which means that the book has some flaps and shorter pages, which is a new element for me and somewhat challenging when decorating it.

But that´s exactly what I´ve been doing, decorating spreads. The book counts sixteen spreads and  I am almost halfway filling those with images and other decorative elements. I intend to decorate the entire journal before I start writing in it, so the spreads I´m showing today are in effect unfinished!

I´m enjoying the very colorful base of the pages. I worried a little that it might be a bit too much, but it turns out to be absolutely wonderful to work with all that color. I love how it makes the pages pop!

The style is quite similar to most of my recent journaling, but I do notice that I use some different techniques that may not be so apparent to an unlooker. One of them is decorating borders and pieces with paint markers. I love my paint markers and they go so well with this book.

Another thing I hardly every use in my regular journal are stamps. I am now using them in just about every spread of the Little Book though. Sometimes directly unto the page, but more often I will stamp an image on decorative paper, cut it out and then use it as collage fodder. I am now so intending to spend some time just making decorative elements that way to use in my everyday journal as well.

In fact I´ve already made up a whole list of ways to make collage elements myself that should keep me busy till kingdom come.  ;-) More and more I feel a longing to make my own elements and combine them with found imagery and even commercial imagery like scrapbooking stuff. I love this mix and match concept I have going on in my journals.

Like I said, it's still nowhere near finished, but I do love where it's going and can't wait to see how it all turns out when I start writing in it. Until then I will first have to decorate the rest of the spreads though. Hope you enjoyed this first peek at the Little Book!

Wishing you all a happy and creative week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What are you up to Wednesday - part 45 (woyww 154)

Aah, the joy of busy workdesks! Today I have two to show you and both are just filled with...journals! Yay! I have to smile as I write this because Mary Ann  recently wrote about using a lot of exlamation marks in her last post and it made me realise again how many of those I use myself. I can't seem to stop myself. I guess I'm just a very enthousiastic artsy person! ;-)

So this week we join the woyww bandwagon again. Sorry I'm not there every week, but life gets in the way and even when I do a what are you up to post I don't always join the link up because I will have no time to check other people's desks. But this week I'm there and like I said, with two workdesks.

For those of you who check in on me for the first time: yes I have two workdesks, in fact I somewhat consider my whole house my studio, so yes, I am very very spoiled. These are the good sides of living alone: you can have as much art space as you want (um, within the limits of your house that is).

Anyway, my downstairs workspace is what I consider my journaling station and that's where my every day journal lives and where I do most of my writing. Look:

My current everyday journal is the Moon Journal of course, the second atlas I have converted into a journal. What you see is the spread I just finished decorating (well, for now I'm finished anyway). Tomorrow I will probably do some writing on this spread and fill it up. If you look very carefully to the bottom left of the  picture you can also see the damage my lovely assistant is doing to my colorful table cloth. Yes, he is helpful wherever he can be. ;-)

Upstairs in my actual studio I am also working on a journal. It's the one I showed you the beginning of last week. Then it was only finished paintwise, but now I am collageing the spreads and I really like where it's going. It's so colorful!

Can you find the little journal in between the mess of supplies? It's right up front. I still have more than half of this book to decorate and then I'm still not sure what I will use it for. A nice small journal to take with me when I'm traveling and want to write? Or maybe I will save it for my upcoming vacation in June? I don't know, and frankly I don't really care that much, I just enjoy decorating it and I especially enjoy using my stamps to make little collage elements and decorating the pages with my paint markers. Such fun!

So right now I'm in journaling heaven and when I finish writing this I may just go back to paradise for a while and decorate some more.

And that's all I have to show for now. Wishing you a very artsy Wednesday!

Monday, May 14, 2012

More pretty paper freebies

A few weeks ago I presented my first set of pretty paper freebies, which were all done in acrylic paints. I made them to create a book out of them in combination with a whole set of pretty papers in gouache. The gouache papers are now done too and the book has been put together.

So now I present you ten more pretty papers for free to do with as you please.  Here they are:

You can download the original scans on my Flickr, where you can find the 2012 freebies set.

This set also has the acrylic papers in it. Flickr gives you the choice for different sizes, so you don't always have to download the original size if you don't want to. The originals size however is about A4 (29x21 cm) at 300 dpi.

You may use these papers in any way you see fit. Personally I think they would make cool collage papers or printed on thicker paper they might make nice book pages. Well, do whatever you please with them, and...enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!