New Years Resolutions & ART JOURNALING!

Happy New Year!  Hopefully!  I mean… I heard the news today, oh boy…. and then I cried. Honestly, it really, really gets me down. I’ve had to place myself on a News Diet just so I don’t wind up with Rudolph nose and eyes that make Niagra Falls look like a minor faucet leak. One of the ways I (try to!) keep my head on straight is Art Journaling.

Happy New Year GraphicIs it just me, or is time passing at warp speed? It’s been a while since my last post! Let me list for you all the reasons (excuses, really–let’s be honest) why:
My Baby Angel (little Guapo) was sick & needed a lot of love and care
I was tired
Painful ankle issue
My Baby Angel crossed the Rainbow Bridge
I was busy crying
I’m lazy
I lack motivation
Blogging is time consuming
I was busy forming a ring on my butt from the pity potty

So one of my New Years Resolutions* is to post much more often on my blog. Others include improving my photography, practicing yoga/working out more, eating healthier, and trying to be more “Zen.”  I also want to pray more, laugh more, be more mindful and express more gratitude. It’s a tall order, but I can try! What are your resolutions?

Now I know a lot of people like to say, with an air of superiority, “Oh, I don’t make resolutions.” Heh heh. Riiiiight. Pants on fire! Or maybe just chicken. Fried chicken with pants on fire! Call it what you will, but I think almost everyone reflects on goals and plans for a new year.

Vintage Photo, Sad Lady--Art Journaling Might Help

Silent Film Star Mary Pickford, feeling down

Roadblocks in Shades of Blue

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on track. There is just so MUCH in this world that can get you down, throw you off your game, create uncertainty, disrupt the best laid plans. That’s just life. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, so we need to have coping strategies, distractions, tools to help us heal ourselves back into a calmer, happier state. Of course, if you find yourself facing serious depression, please seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible. But if you’re like me and just get a little down-around-the-mouth/bummed out/in a funk occasionally, or you want to shift your thinking, or you just need to process something that’s going on in your life, or heck, maybe you’re fine, but you just want to PLAY… I’ve got a really cool project for you!

Art Journaling to the Rescue!

Have you ever heard of or tried art journaling? I love it! One rainy day while surfing Youtube, I came across a really neat technique I had to try immediately, and I want to share it with you. If you’re not familiar with art journaling, it’s basically just taking a sketchbook or notebook and filling it with… whatever you want!  A Google search will turn up dozens of websites and videos. You can also take a peek at some cool art journals pages on my Pinterest Art Journaling Board. What’s cool about an art journal is that it’s really just for you, so there’s no pressure to be amazing. You don’t even need to be artistic or “talented”–just play and enjoy!

So here’s the interesting technique I found on Youtube, and it’s by a charming young lady who goes by the handle “Jennibellie.” She’s got the loveliest British accent and a ton of art journaling videos. Here’s a link (Note: she doesn’t actually start the process until about 4:00, after she talks a bit about what brought on the blues that day):

Art Therapy: Page for a Stupid Girl (by Jennibellie)

Pretty cool, yes? Here is a shot of the two page layout I created after being inspired by this video.

My Art Journal SpreadThe Process

First, I wrote all over both pages with a Micron pen, quickly, just spilling thoughts and feelings onto the page without editing. The idea is to just get it all out. You don’t even have to censor, because you’re going to cover it up with paint anyway, and only a few words will peek through. If you think those words give away too much, you always have the option to hide more!

Once I finished spilling my guts all over the pages, I spritzed my pages with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. I’m absolutely head-over-heels for this stuff. It’s sheer with a beautiful, irridescent sheen and comes in lots of beautiful colors.  And the best part is that I can always find some dirt cheap at Tuesday Morning.  You just need to shake it really well to distribute the glitz (can you see it at the bottom of the bottle there?). I like to use two or three colors at a time.

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Perfect for Art Journal backgrounds

This stuff is magic!

I then glued on meaningful bits and pieces torn from magazines, flyers, etc. Since I was traveling at the time, I just used a permanent glue stick, but slapping down a layer of matte medium is great, too. I suppose you could use Mod Podge, but in some climates, regular Mod Podge can remain a bit sticky. I’ve done it, though, and just place a piece of parchment paper between my pages. I outlined the little yoga chick with a micron pen, and put a nice, church-flyer quote, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” between her (me!) and her (my!) “demon.” Which may or may not be called “Anger.”  LOL!

Upcycle: Turn Junk to Art

Tag saved from a garment to use for art journlingThe little pocket on the right page is made by attaching an embossed piece of card stock with washi tape. The little tag I saved from some clothing–a yoga top, I think.  Great sentiment there!

Yellow heart with roses cut from tissue box

Heart Cut from Tissue Box

And how about this super cute heart on the left page? It was cut from–dig this–a tissue box! (I can’t even buy tissue anymore without thinking about how I can use the box when it’s empty.) I glued it down and outlined it with a paint pen. I added a pocket with a tag (they come in a package), and tied a piece of raffia to the tag. Then I wrote smarmy stuff on it.



I love the little bit of sentiment glued near the bottom of the right page. These come from Bacci chocolates. Each piece includes a printed saying about love in four languages.  Isn’t that cool?  Something to remember for Valentine’s Day!


A few words on supplies…

Ranger Distress Ink by Tim Holtz, Stamps, Washi Tape for Art Journaling

Art Journaling Supplies

You may not realize it, but you probably already have a lot art journaling supplies available in your home. Some of the best art journal pages contain images, labels and elements that were bound for the trash. Cut out those items that speak to you. (If you can actually hear them, get professional help!  LOL!) That’s where I got he butterfly and “Wonderfully and Fearfully Made” cutouts, which have been distressed along the edges with Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Aged Mahogony.  Just tearing them out leaves a nice, textured look, too.  Experiment!

I lettered the words “Find Your Peace” with a black paint pen, then outlined them with a white one.  I also dabbed a little white acrylic paint here and there with a piece of natural sponge, added some stamped images, and I was done! My little yoga gal was conquering her funky demons through faith, exercise, love and chocolate! And art journaling! Sounds like a plan to me.

I had lots of fun making this page, and it really did make me feel better. I made sure to inject a little humor, because it’s so true that “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”  I hope you’ll try this process and enjoy it as much as I did. Start with what you have around–don’t be like me and lose your mind at the art and hobby stores, thinking you need EVERY SINGLE THING FROM EVERY VIDEO OR BLOG POST EVER!  LIKE, NOW!!!  Hahaha! I think scouring your junk drawers and cabinets for interesting art journal fodder is a great way to jump start your creative process, too.

I used a Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal, mostly because I found it on sale at a great price. It’s nice and sturdy, with thick pages that hold up well to all of my splashing, rubbing, layering and gluing. I’ve used less hardy journals, and they’ve worked fine, too.

Finally, I couldn’t resist including this photograph I took as the late afternoon sun fell on my open Art Journa through the blinds, creating a very cool pattern that seemed to speak to the very theme of this layout.

Art Journal Pages with mini-blind shadows

“….marvel at the marvelous in leaves, stones, intercepted light; put truth and people in their rightful angle in the sun…find the shadow, what it falls upon.” (from the poem “Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me” by Ann Darr–one of my favorites. Ms. Darr was a poet, Air Force pilot & broadcast journalist for an NBC radio show “The Women of Tomorrow.” Cool chick.)

Again, happy new year! I hope your days are filled with love, creativity, and marveling at the marvelous!

*A “Resolution” is something you vow you’ll do which you do, indeed, do–until around mid-Februrary, latest


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