Friday Five: Take 2

Friday5

Five goals. Five tasks. Five things I hope to do over a cold, cold weekend up ahead.

So two Fridays ago, I wrote my first Friday Five post for the year.  I wasn’t too keen about a follow up the following week because the truth of the matter was, I was distracted over the weekend and didn’t get much done.  But before I write the next, I thought I owed myself a quick rundown as a reminder to work harder on this.

1. Work on the destash. Identify 5 items to give away and clear out some of the junk in my room. – The closet is an ongoing project so this did get done.

2. Go through my shoe rack. This is a rather emotional issue for me which I will work harder on.  Maybe this week?

3. Write a letter. I actually started writing one but didn’t quite get anywhere.  Definitely this weekend!

4. Finish three pieces for the shop. Blame it on the art journaling.  This was totally an epic fail.

5. Pack away.  Off the list!  I actually got to a good start.. and then…

So that was the recap.  What’s for the next weekend?

1.  Continue with the destash.  (Yay!)

2.  Go through the shoe rack and throw at least 3 pairs that need to go to the shoe grave.

3.  Letters and cards that need to be written and sent.

4.  One piece for the shop.  I thought I’d keep the goal modest to actually make it a reality.

5. Sort and store the cards I got from the Papyrus closing out sale.  Sad.  Those who know me well know that I have a thing for paper.. and make up.. but Papyrus is all about paper.  As they cleaned out their shelves on their last day yesterday, the branch here in Grand Central sold the cards for 10 cents each.  I looked at Father’s Day cards not to give or sell but for the components on the card I could maybe use in crafting.  It was scrapbooking and mixed media heaven for me.  And now I have to sort and put them away so that my holiday cardsy can be ready for Christmas.  (Yes, and I regretted having bought my boxed cards for next Christmas when they went on sale.. )

Fridays nowadays always make me think of sleep.. and more sleep.  And yet I cannot even get myself to nap anymore.  I have been throwing away a lot of stuff so I know I am making progress in getting my topsy-turvy world in a bit of order.  I am hopeful it will be a productive weekend for me.

Happy Friday, everyone!

And January and February ran past

Can you believe that we are now almost done with the first quarter of the year? I can and cannot. Can because it has been a busy first two months of the year. Cannot because how could it have gone by soooo fast?!

And I was on a roll here — then I wasn’t. But I am not going to punish myself with that thought. I am proud of what I have done with my first two months of the year in most respects.

I am trying to be more forgiving of myself in both big and small things. I’m letting most things go— taking a deep breath or a few, then moving on. It’s taken some practice and I don’t always succeed, but for the most part, I feel lighter. And I’m hoping it holds.

Most nights I find myself tinkering with my art journal. So happy with where that’s going and the amount of work I’m actually seeing on paper. I know I should also be working on the shop, but I need to push myself just a little harder.

I’m planning a big trip in a week and a half and I’m excited yet a tad ambivalent about it all. Family can be complicated —- let me leave it at that. Yet I know deep in my heart, that is where my home is.

I have been drafting several posts in my head , but my hands have been busy with the pens and the paintbrushes and the watercolor palette. I have resisted the urge to buy new supplies— largely because I know I have some stashed away from last year’s handful of trips to Michael’s. And even with that, I continue to create. You can see I am in craft heaven.

But I am back.. again. Probably starting off a travel series beginning when I hop on that plane or before. Meanwhile, let me leave you with positive vibes and wishes for a productive week head. It’s Ash Wednesday for us Catholics, and the end of a leap year February for all of us.

My Art Journal: First Update

I’ve stolen bits and pieces of my day the last week or two to come up with the first section of my art journal. It’s been slow but I am happy to be working at this pace. The point of art journaling, after all, is to be able to do a bit of art here and there to find some personal relaxation.

Again, let me stress, I am a non artist doing my own brand of art. I’m not good at drawing things, but that hasn’t stopped me from putting things together in my own artistic way. And I think art journaling does not have to conform to what others would find awesome– what’s important is that it’s your own personal kind of awesome. And journaling — in any form– should be a conversation with yourself. At least, that is what it is for me.

Why do I journal? I write my thoughts in words and in symbols or entries through pictures and phrases that are meaningful to me. No matter how painful or angry my words or entries may be in a journal written ages ago, I find lessons and reminders in those words when I go back to them. I relish the moments of happiness and triumph or joy when I relive them in those pages. There is a reward to being able to go back to a moment, be it good or bad, to get back in touch with that part of you.

I recently found one of my “What do I really, really, really want?” notebooks which I did at a very confused and bitter time. Things have settled since then. I got to a better place of “happy”. I am wont to dispose of the journal, though, because it’s purpose has been served. The point was to answer the question in as honest a way as possible. And through time, to go through the answers and hopefully find clarity with what you really want to do.

I’ve long since gotten past that tumultuous time of my life. And yes, I got clarity with what I really wanted,  and in the end, that stumped everything else. I might yet end up using those pages as part of a collage in one of the layouts in my current project.

Like I posted previously, because I didn’t get to do a journal in 2019 despite my best efforts, I want to begin this one with a recap of 2019. Those pages lead to my first cut out and multi page section which has the numbers 2020.

These layouts are on upcycled Manila folders so the paper takes watercolor, ink, and glue very well. I don’t use liquid glue but prefer the regular glue stick because it doesn’t saturate the paper with more liquid. The page bindings are reinforced with double sided tape and elements that help hold the pages together like the 2020 spread.

As you will see, it’s not strictly a 5.5 x 7.5 inch page layout. A lot of my layouts have at least one flap folding out. The page sizes are not standard because I worked with what I had at the moment. I even kept the tabs in some cases.

A question was asked in one of the Facebook groups I’m a part of regarding using manila folders for making junk journals. I had just done a quick reveal of the first signature of my book (or set of pages) and shared it.

You’ll find the youtube clip below for reference, and I’m going to work on doing a tutorial or two on the craft blog on how I pulled these pages together. Sooooo happy with the way it’s coming along.. Yes, I do have a channel and I just don’t have the inclination to work on developing it, but it’s one way I’ve learned a lot from fellow crafters from all over. There are just some tutorials best done on video rather than in pictures, don’t you think?

I’ve done much since I shot this video over the weekend.  I’ve been going through my stash of art materials both bought and created through the years, and I am so thrilled with the treasures I’ve found.

I found DIY Washi tape that looks as gorgeous as when I first created it and still sticks as well as it should.  That was one craft experiment that turned out great!  Various printed elements and of course, my paper flower garden.

I’ve looked at homemade washi tape tutorials, and I’m just surprised that there is none using the method that I used.  I am hoping I can do a video on that one of these days and show fellow crafters how I created what you see below.
787F18C1-1F20-407E-99AD-B659AB105083

Friday Five: First for 2020

Friday5

Five goals. Five tasks. Five things I hope to do over a weekend when all I’m thinking about is sleeping in.

I’m not a thrill seeker or a restless soul and most weekends find me just chilling at home. Still, I find it nice to set simple goals to make sure I at least work on accomplishing something instead of just vegetating. So here goes..

1. Work on the destash. Identify 5 items to give away and clear out some of the junk in my room. Last week I threw away one bag more than I usually toss into the garbage bin. It get good to see so much being disposed of. For someone who has a tendency to hold on to things, I feel some measure of accomplishment when I am able to dispose of otherwise useless stuff. So more of that this weekend.

2. Go through my shoe rack. I know I’m making progress when I see shoes in the trash bin. There are more that should literally walk out the door, but I seem to have a special attachment to the shoes I have, no matter how they have been neglected or forgotten. Time to say goodbye.

3. Write a letter. I don’t know why it takes so much effort when it’s really something I’m very good at. Plus, I actually have people on a list. One to the post office by Monday.

4. Finish three pieces for the shop. I have actually gathered several unfinished pieces, but I haven’t really posted anything. Time to focus on this.

5. Pack away. I have things that need to be stored in the attic, and while they are boxed, they need to be brought up. I also need to stash things I might be taking in my next trip until I am sure I am taking that trip.

And my Friday is almost done. My bed beckons. Let’s see how this goes when I give my Monday update. Happy Friday!

My art journal

Creating a journal has always been more than picking one out and writing in it for me. Since I finished my first journal spanning 2012-2015, deciding on my next format made for a lot of stops and starts. But after so many failed attempts, I think I’ve finally found something I am happy with.

From the beginning, I knew I was going to use upcycled paper. Sheets from file dividers, used Manila folders, and I zeroed in on a size. 5.5 x 7×5. I toyed with the idea of sewing signatures together, but then decided on working on sections I could compile together instead.

I had started in a totally different direction before the last year ended, but I had a new idea which saw me totally focused on a different design direction. I am quite excited with the thicker and bigger layouts I’ve come up with. And I know that I can still add the rose petal collage embellishments to the existing pages.

I’ve gathered some old art work and materials I’ve incorporated into the layouts. I have even fished out an older basic watercolor cake palette (which is what you see in my section avatar in this post) and began creating basic page backgrounds. Just like my first art journal, I am trying to add fold outs and cut outs to make the book visually unique, starting with a 4-page spread of “2020”.

I found some magazine cut outs I had originally intended for a totally different kind of journal project and this time, I used them in some spreads for embellishing later on. I’ve even pulled out my stash of handmade paper I’ve acquired through the years to use as part of the layouts.

It’s coming out pretty nicely and I haven’t even started journaling.

I’d still like to begin the book by retracing the last 12 months as mini entries. 2019 was a positive year mostly because my world stayed in a good place. You know how people say things can only get better? They did and they stayed good. Nothing remarkable or ground breaking– but sometimes, “good” is okay. And that’s 12 months worth journaling.

I’m giddy happy thinking about how this project, which I’ve tried to get going so many times before and had fallen flat and hanging, is finally taking off. I can’t wait to paint and spray and paste and write.

Journaling has always been about capturing my thoughts and feelings in words and pictures for me to go back to in some future time. When I am in the process of writing down my entry or creating the layout, that is me lost in myself, trying to express what’s in me or memorializing the feeling or thought of the moment. It’s a way of speaking in my own inner voice. It’s something I didn’t get to do last year, but 2020 will be different.  Having gotten this far in just the first four weeks of the year, I know I will be able to tick this off my list this time around.