I had intended to make something or work on my journal during this unseemly hour of the morning, but instead, I am sharing some work I’ve been doing for the past week or two. Dawn Sokol runs a class each holiday season that focuses on journaling to help process the holiday season and winter. It’s a great class that I’ve taken a couple of times in the past. Here is some of my work, along with some works in progress, that I have so far.
It’s a homemade book, set up in the style of a travelers notebook, using elastic bands to keep in each signature. The pages are made of old cereal boxes, magazine pages, old Christmas cards, cardstock, regular ole white heavyweight paper, and more. Some of these pages are still works in progress, mostly needing some doodling and journaling. #JingleJournal2021
I had a little bit more time to work on this during Thanksgiving weekend, so that was fun. I had no expectations as I worked on it, so it’s a bit of a jumble.
22 – crown. doodled jaggedy lines, similar to a sketchy crown.
23 – “groups of 4” was the prompt, but I did “group of 4” instead. 🙂
24 – sisters. The prompt was a photo of 2 girls, so I pulled out a copy of a photo of my sisters and myself.
25 – circles. I love making circles.
26 – gratitude. Words about what I’m grateful for in my life.
27 – shine on. I used some glitter on the page, of course.
28 – focus in on the color yellow.
And for the last two days in November…
29 – ferris wheel. I used a new stencil from the Stencil Girl Club that mimics the lines on the ferris wheel.
30 – house. The prompt image used a really great shade of turquoise, so I decided to just use that on the page. (Spread isn’t finished, but November is.)
Artist and author Dawn Devries Sokol is running a daily journaling prompt project this month and she called it NaNoJouMo (National Nonstop Journaling Month), in a takeoff on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Every day on her blog, Dawn gives followers a prompt and we are to take whatever we want from that prompt and use it to jumpstart our journaling for the day. Folks are encouraged to take what they want and leave what they want, to journal for 5 minutes, or 5 hours or anything in between, as long as we’re getting something down in our journals daily.
I love this project. I used to journal daily, first throughout the day, then every evening on the living room sofa, and now I find that most of my journaling is hit or miss, with no set times, but I try very hard to fill in the details of each day, even if I’m catching up a week’s worth of days. So what I decided to do this month is, since I work weekly in my journal, to take what speaks to me from each prompt and incorporate it into the page spread for the week. Here’s week 1 (I put the thought bubble over some sensitive writing for privacy):
Day 1: The “Hello my name is” sticker
Day 2: I pulled a similar orange-y color from Dawn’s prompt image and painted it around these two little weird guys.
Day 3: I added a tag to the page and wrote a little on it about “I’m not really…”
Day 4: Added stars and scribbles using a scarlet watercolor crayon and then mushed the color around a tiny bit.
Day 5: Added the little house shape, torn out of a book page.
Day 6: I scribbled around the edges of the little guys’ clothes.
Day 7: I may have forgotten to do the “the way to…” prompt. HAHA!
So, I started this week’s spread last night and I’m super excited about what is starting to happen there. But you’ll have to wait till next week to see it! 🙂
On Tuesday I finally finished my little Day of the Dead grave. It started as the week 1 challenge in my Work of Art group over on Flickr. The challenge was to take a piece of kitchshy art and turn it into something else. My trip to Eco Thrift hooked me up with a few little gems: A handcarved wood guy, some broken pink glass and a small “dresser” with some sort of fake plants inside where the mirror would be. Old, grungy and just not very much fun.
The more I worked with these things, the more I knew it was going to become a grave marker of some sort. With Dia de los Muertos on the way, it seemed to make sense. Also, my family recently finished engraving our grandparents’ headstone to include my grandma’s info and my sister had sent me a photo from back east. They’ve been on my mind a LOT lately. Grandpa’s been gone over 20 years and grandma’s been gone about 4 years, but I still miss them like it was yesterday.
I thought about how awesome they were and their special little quirks that made them my grandma and grandpa, that made them my mom’s parents, that made them the hard workers their neighbors knew them as, and so on. Most of their friends and family are gone and once my siblings and my mom and aunt are gone, all of those memories will be gone, too. Wouldn’t it be cool if their headstone had a little drawer where we could store photos and stories and mementos so that when people came by the cemetery, they could read about these people I loved so much. I spent the month of October thinking about this kind of loss that happens when nobody remembers us anymore. I can’t even count how many times I have said to my husband, “I wish you could have met grandpa; he would have loved you.”
Using plaster of paris, I created a grave where the figure is partly above ground to signify that he’s gone, and part of the earth and the universe, but still very much a part of the living world as well. The little dresser is the headstone, with flowers and lights and glitter inside the glass to pay tribute and celebrate the life that once was. The tiny drawers hold symbols of the life the person in the grave has left behind.
And yes, he’s holding an umbrella. Just in case it rains.
Today, I mailed back to Brooklyn my submission for The Sketchbook Project. I am giddy beyond words about the prospect of being a part of a traveling exhibit like this. And to have my stuff archived in their library? HUGE!
And, because I can’t just see the positive in anything (ha!), I’m also a little disappointed in myself because somewhere in the middle of the project, I lost steam and ended up rushing through the book near the end. I don’t think it helped that this project spanned two months over the holidays, but it was a really good exercise for me and I’m glad I participated. And as if luck would have it, the postmark deadline was moved to today, rather than last Saturday, so I had a little more time to work on it. 🙂
I uploaded my favorite pages to my flickr account:
Despite being disappointed with a bunch of the work I did in this book, I’m especially pleased with a good amount of the work. I gave myself permission to play, to doodle, to be silly and childlike. I scanned my favorite pages, which are in the flickr set here. I particularly love the happy accident that is the first picture in the above slideshow. She’s a little pink girl, who I found in a random watercolor scribble. She reminds me so much of my niece, Devin, in her Christmas photo from 2003, when she was almost a year old:
Just for context: Devin just turned 8, is in 2nd grade, is an awesome artist, is about to make her first communion and has brown eyes now…
My other favorites in the slideshow are:
– the papertowel I used to clean some brushes (I save everything), which ended up looking like a mountain range. I collaged it onto the page over some book page scraps.
– the little running doggie. I want to practice more of the watercolor scribbling — I’ve been doing that a lot on my own, but my class a few months ago with Carla Sonheim really “enabled” me.
So, that’s my story for today. Happy January, folks!
I just got caught up with Jamie’s videos and I am woefully behind on seeing what everybody else is doing. I apologize to all of you who have been so kind & supportive by visiting my blog and commenting. I fully intend to do the same every week and then life got in the way. Big time.
I have a good excuse, though!
The last two weeks I have spent getting ready for opening my very own art studio. I am working with this cool group called Poudre Studio Artists here in Fort Collins. We “live” in the Poudre River Arts Center, just north of downtown. I’ve also taken on the role of marketing manager for the center as well, so you can imagine how hilariously crazy things have been here.
So, I don’t know what week it is, really. I don’t remember what I did when, but I need to realize that’s not important anymore (which is REALLY hard for me, because I love tracking and archiving things). I did make a week list of the stuff I’ve done since the last time I posted:
drew thin and fat lines
scratched with a sharp object
starting adding office supplies
drew a nonstop line
wrote four-letter words
listed more ways to wreck
ALSO, I put the book out during my first First Friday, marked at the page that says “hang the journal in a public place and invite people to draw here.” Not many people wanted to do that, despite my big basket of crayons. I was surprised, actually! My MIL drew a horse though. My SIL drew a penguin and a blackeyed susan (that’s the “logo” my husband and I have – long story for another day). My husband drew a tiny alien and his space ship. That’s good enough for me!
I was carrying it around a lot and then that sort of dropped off, but I intend to pick back up again. It’s comforting to me.
Things I am learning from this process and how it’s spilling over into real life:
I am following the rules less and less. I used to be the “good girl” — who has to please everybody and do the right thing. I’m NOT that girl anymore.
I didn’t clean my house before my in-laws came over. Twice.
I am playing more. Today I was in the studio and I was prepping some pages for a journal and all of a sudden decided to do my process in reverse order, just to see what would happen.
So that’s it for now. If anyone reading this doesn’t have a “give away your favorite page” partner, please consider swapping with me. Leave a note in the comments.
And here are some photos of what I’ve done recently. enjoy!
As I type this, I am sitting on my journal. I received this book for Christmas and have done a few of the prompts in it since then, but when I heard Jamie Ridler was leading a Wreck This Journal group, I knew it was a sign that I needed to get more invested in this book. So I am. Only problem is, I keep forgetting to do stuff. ha!
Last weekend, I did do some doodling in one of the pages. Easy enough. Stuff I do every day in other books. Not a big deal. I made a sign for myself.
But last night I tried to do something more daring. There is a black page that says “Lose this page. (Throw it out.) Accept the loss.” I ignored it for a while and looked for another page to work on. Then I went back and tore out the page and crumpled it up. Then I sat the wadded up ball of paper aside and freaked out a little. And I know exactly why.
I love recording things. I love complete archives and histories of events. I want to leave behind stuff that doesn’t make people wonder about Tracey. “Why did grandma tear a page out of this book?” one kid might wonder.
And here’s the other thing. We had barely any money growing up. I learned the value of a dollar very early on. I also learned that if I leave my stuff lying around, my little brothers would destroy it and then it would be gone and there would be no more because there was no money to buy more. So I’m very protective of my stuff.
And that’s why throwing away this page is so hard.
But I’ve done more difficult stuff in the last week. I’ve gone out of my comfort zone at least twice and both times were very rewarding. Also, things aren’t as scarce now as they were when I was nine. So when I post this entry, I will throw away this wadded up page (in the dumpster outside!) and move on with my day.
I have been very very busy finishing Christmas gifts (yes, really) and, more recently, valentines. I’ve also been working on the Collage Challenge with Crowabout and assorted swaps. I have so much to show, so I put a few of each type of item here (click on photos to see larger version), but there are a lot more on my Flickr site.
Mini quilts. These are fun and I’m finally getting the hang of using my machine. I’m no expert, but I like the way these are all coming out. The base fabric is stuff I painted in workshops with Lisa Englebrecht (Maybe I’ll actually finish the projects I started in Lisa’s workshops someday!) last year. The two that say “hope” are for my youngest brothers and there’s a pocket made from a Hambly overlay that holds a prayer card from our dad’s funeral, which was last year on 2/14. The card is of St. Jude, who was my dad’s favorite saint (and is my second favorite). St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases (and policemen) and I thought my brothers would like a little something to remind them to have hope for whatever their dreams may be. Recently I thought that gluing pony beads on the ends of the hanging stick would finish off the look nicely and I was right! Very happy with these.
Mini quilt for my brother Steve and his
wife. A belated Christmas 2008 gift!
Mini quilt for my brother Mike. A belated
Christmas 2008 gift!
This was Jennie’s Christmas gift and
it was less late than the ones for my family.
Collage stuff. I’ve been trying each week to find a little time to participate in the Collage Play With Crowabout challenge. Here are a few of the recent collages I’ve done using images from that challenge. If you are interested in playing along with us, email Nancy and ask for an invite. Let her know traypup sent you! I’m really enjoying art journaling lately and will be posting more pages from my journals in my next post.
Crowabout challenge week 20.
Crowabout challenge week 21.
Crowabout challenge week 22. The heads
are my mom and myself about 40 years ago.
Cards. Sometimes I have a hankering to make a ton of cards. I can’t bear to buy them in the store because I feel like making them from scratch means so much more. Plus, I have all of the stuff! So I collected all of my Valentine’s Day-related supplies and sat on the sofa watching movies with my husband and made a ton of cards. Here are a few:
Vday 2009 card for Devin
Assorted Vday cards
You make my heart whirl
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! There is lots more that I’ll be writing about this week. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things.
Today wasn’t a superbly creative day, other than dealing the usual work challenges. The closest I got to art was photographing the last two days of journaling and pulling together supplies for the next three days of workshops with Kelly Kilmer. Kelly is one of my favorite instructors and I have been chomping at the bit for this weekend to hurry up and get here! I will have no problem meeting my personal challenge of art every day for the next three days, which is why I’m going so easy on myself today.
I did this spread on Day 5 and didn’t think a lot about it. Used a background I did over the weekend. Cobbled together a silly little bird I drew on a book page. Played with watercolor crayons. TA DA! This is also in the same calendar journal as featured on Day 4.