Artwork: Grimoire

The first completed page in my Number 1 Grimoire (as I have three of these journals) Dina Wakley media journal.

All sorts of acrylic paints for the background.  I sketched her face in, filled it in with a thin layer of white paint, then watercolor.  I finished her with colored pencils.

This image is what I need.  It helps me stay focused and upbeat.  This picture is my computer background.

 

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Have You Heard Of A Flow Journal?

The other day I was wandering around YouTube…seriously…just wandering…

I found this video:

which leads to this video:

Basically, it’s an art swap.  You make one of these journals filled with all sorts of ephemera and send it out, trade it with a partner…and then you both make art from what you find in your new journal.  It’s a challenge…and a partnership.

I am slowly getting back into working in my journals, doing my own art, slowly but surely again (yay!)…and this sounds like an incredible idea.

Would you like to play along with me and swap flow journals, set ourselves up with an art challenge?

If so–my email is listed on the sidebar…or respond to this post.

Having someone else on board would help keep me accountable and moving forward

My Ranger Dina Wakley Media Journal

This is a “multi-surface journal for mixed media”.

It comes with fifty-four pages of varying materials—a cotton rag watercolor paper, heavy brown kraft paper, unprepared (as in no gesso, just soft cloth) canvas, and burlap.

I follow several artists on YouTube and one day I got a notice that someone (I forget who at this point, I’ve watched so many videos about the journal) had put up a new video…and I went to watch it…the person was in the midst of doing a series of videos about working in her Dina Wakley media journal.

I was hooked from the moment I saw the closed journal.  Something about the burlap strings hanging out all over made my heart SING…even though I personally hate working on burlap…at least I have in the past…

The journal is listed as 8 inches X 10 inches on every website I have seen it on; however, on the book itself it says “cover measures 7.75” by 10.25”; pages are 7.25” x10.0”.”

The cover is a nice matte black.  If you are looking for an envelope to keep bits and bobs in—you have the wrong journal.  If you are looking for an attached closure—you have the wrong journal.

The journal has four sewn-in signatures.  There is more of the watercolor paper than anything else.  I love the burlap strings…except when they come off.  Hanging out of the book all over, that for me is cool…having to pick up the strings…and pry them out of my cats’ mouths—not so cool…

I have an issue with the kraft paper.  In the one video I watched of Dina Wakley talking about her journal, she talked about how much she loves the brown kraft paper.  The kraft paper in this journal is nice.  It is thick and heavy.  But—there simply is not enough of it.  I was a bit miffed to see that the kraft paper was used as the outermost page of the first and the last signature…and then that front page and that back page were glued down to the inside covers of the book.  I know the brown inside covers give the journal a nice clean look.  I know gluing the first and last pages to the cover strengthens the journal…but…there goes two pages of brown kraft paper that I cannot use.  And yes, I have a piece started on the front inside cover.

I started working on the front inside cover because I wrote my intentions for the journal down there in pencil—then decided I didn’t want anyone reading what I had written…and I painted over it…which was fun…I am not done with it…and I have no deadline to finish…I am just enjoying myself…which is part of the point of this journal for me.

The watercolor paper has an absorbency I am not used to…but I am enjoying it.  Right now all I have done is play with acrylic paint in it.  Tomorrow I am planning to work some watercolors on the watercolor paper and see what happens…

I have no clue what I am going to do with the burlap pages…but I know I am going to use them.  The canvas pages are easy…it’s just canvas paper…I have used that before.  Maybe I will gesso or prep the pages first…I am not yet certain.

I do think, as of now, my plan is to work every page as a single entity in and of itself.  In many of my journals of late, I only work one side of the page, in case someone wants to remove one later and frame it…as my daughter swears she is going to do when I die and she (and the boys) inherit all my journals…that is why I started doing things that way.  But I don’t think I’ll do it in this journal…this journal is for something else.

Since I found this journal on sale, I bought two more of them…because I do love them that much.  In fact, I have started bemoaning the fact that buying the materials to make a larger journal like this myself is not cost-effective for me to do…although while searching online I did find out that there is a larger size of this journal available: a 10 inch X 14.25 inch one…and none of the stores I tried even carry that size online, much less in store…so the 8X10 I have now, and the two other ones I ordered are what will have to tide me over for a bit.

But…another thing has come up in relation to this journal.  I am having so many more ideas about things I can put into my hand-made books.  Things I hadn’t thought of as “appropriate” before.  But that burlap…and I am telling you, that burlap is something that makes me cringe when I think of painting on it…but the challenge of it also entices me…but thinking of what I can include in my hand-made books…that has my brain nearly exploding.  One thing I have grown certain of lately is…I am a book artist…and I have my friends Tracy and Julie and their wonderful and encouraging comments to bolster and buoy me along.  So many things are coming in the future…I can’t wait to share…but have to until I have something to show.

Thanks for listening.

Until next time…

Oh, Yes, I Am Playing Along…

Oh, yes, I am playing along with this year’s prompts

I have a sketchbook–well, it’s more of a writing journal that I turned into a sketchbook…and I have been sketching every day of October…

Here are some of the finished pieces:

 

It usually takes me a couple days to sketch, then paint, then finish each one…which is why I don’t publish them every day…I just can’t…but eventually…all shall be revealed.

 

But wait, I have also been using the prompts here to write stories over on the Sisters blog…can you tell which ones were inspired by what prompt?

My goal this month is to write something every day…whether it gets published on Sisters or not…so far, so good…

Here are a couple links to get you interested…and inspired…more will be coming along…

Flowers In The Forest

Into The Forest Dark

Sleep Tight

I think at the end of October, I will pull together all the art that I have done, as well as all the stories, and I will create a little book…different than the usual free PDF at the end of October…but still, along that same vein.

 

Books…More Books…

Oh, did you think it would just be prompts and not much more this month here on Alyce?

Nope.  I have too much to do…and I don’t want to schedule these posts for November since I am working on them now.

We went to the thrift store recently and here is what I picked up.  I wish I had gotten more.  But, this is enough to get me started…

 

 

New altered books waiting to be made…

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The plan is to make a bunch of altered junque-type journals to sell in the coming year.  I can hear you ask–why the coming year when the holidays are coming soon.

Well, because I am not promising anything before the new year because I can’t be sure I can do it all in time.

I will consider special orders and special requests though…if you have an idea, shoot me an email here and we’ll talk.  I can take on some projects, but not a ton right now.

The idea of trying to make a bunch of things to have on-hand to sell…I can’t manage that right now.  I will get there; I just need to do things in my own time as I am healing from surgery.

Having said all that, as I do create new books, I will make walk-through videos so you can see what’s going on…and I will try to keep my glitter crow faery dust thing to a minimum, as I can, if I can.

 

29 Faces Update

So, this is not the month for me to do this challenge, at all.

I have been planning to write this post for a while…and luckily, I have many sketches on instagram to show that I actually have drawn something…

Am I up to date on my count?

No.

I have completed five faces in total.  I have sketched out twenty faces in total.  My pink polka dot journal has a face on every page…thanks to going to my husband’s latest softball game and feeling calm enough to sketch and to scribble (it was really nice, outside, under a tree, without much noise in the background…well, most of the time)…

May not look like much, but it's my 29 faces journal I made from a gift bag…

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I won’t be posting every single instagram picture…they are all tagged.

I haven’t been posting the finished products–and yes, my printer/scanner is still refusing to speak to my computer…two of the pieces I did this month were actually for other projects and you will be seeing a lot of them next month and next year…but for now, I will not be revealing them.

WIP. ..first layer of color

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The week after next I am having surgery…I am reaching a point where all I want to do here is clean and organize–which is a farce when my teenager comes in right behind me and literally in five minutes has decimated all the work I have done…and thank you, I have tried talking to her–she can’t see what I am talking about so I am wasting my breath…so, I do what I can…and pray I might find some of the things she puts away who knows where when I actually need them…so I am not sure how much more art I will do…or if I will just keep making books…I like making books–it is calming, stressful but relaxing…and since I now have a collection of fountain pens to play with…I am looking forward to some downtime to write after the surgery…knock on wood.

A New Hand-Made Hand-Bound Journal Created

Found a stack of old artwork…turned it into a little handbound journal

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A while back, I lost my three-hole punch.

It wasn’t really lost; it had merely been put somewhere safe, somewhere very safe…and it took me a bit to figure out where the heck that might be.

During the many—many—searches that I made in order to find that three-hole punch, I found a great deal of stuff…much of it I had totally forgotten about.

Before I started taking any sort of online art classes, I had painted these very quick Goddess figures on cardstock…and I found the stack of them, stuffed under and stuck back behind, a bunch of stuff…

So I pulled them out…confused as to their existence for a while.

Then I decided–they’d make a terrific base for a journal of some sort…be it an art journal or a writing journal.

So, on the sixth, I started to work on my Full Moon piece.  I used paint — and I had left-over paint–which I threw down on some cardstock because it was sitting right there.  Halfway through the Full Moon piece, it struck me that the cardstock goddesses would be fine wrapped in a cardstock cover.

So.  That’s what happened.

I splattered and sploshed paint all over the cover cardstock piece.  Then I doused that with a hefty dose of glitter.  hey, if it doesn’t have glitter, is it honestly worth having?  Come on…  I let that dry a little bit before spraying it with sealant.  Then I let that dry for a few hours.

Meanwhile, I cut all the goddess cardstock to the same size, as I hadn’t apparently paid attention or cared about every piece being the same size when they were originally created.

I created ten signatures of three pages each.

When the cover was dry, I cut that a bit larger than the pages themselves.

I added a piece of duck tape (patterned, yes) down the spine to reinforce it a bit.

Then I eyeballed the binding holes…and that is why they are so uneven–I thought I had everything right…but apparently, the guide I was using had slipped and I didn’t notice until after I had the holes in the cover…thirty holes in the cover–that wins, hands down.

So I punched the holes in all the signatures.

I bound the signatures in, using crochet thread.

Then, I added duck tape to the inside of the covers, along the outer edges, just to add some strength, and because the pages are a bit smaller than the covers and I didn’t want the unpainted underside of the cover showing after I glued down the first and last page…so — duck tape took care of that.

I am beginning to enjoy binding books with the tails on the inside of the signatures.

I am also contemplating making some books with hidden bindings.

So much going on lately…who knows what will come of things?

I’ll keep you updated as I find things out…and as I figure things out.