A Weekend with an Art Journal

So for months now I’ve been thinking and talking about starting an art journal.  I know that art journals have reached trending popularity in the last year or so, which normally would turn me off of them.  However, I’ve always been a prolific journaler and I frequently doodle, add doodads and keepsakes to them. So in effect, I’ve been art journaling for years, just not officially.  One day in February, I spent my lunch hour at Michael’s perusing their supplies and picking up some things to kick-start my art journaling adventures.  I spent about a week prepping the pages of a sketch book with white and black gesso so that they would stand up to various techniques and additions of things over time.

Making Space for Creativity

A couple of weeks later, I gathered together all the supplies I thought I might need, purchased a rolling cart with drawers and organized the shit out of it all.

And then my creative energy fell flat.

Well on Thursday, I was “bit” by a creativity bug.  I was sitting at my desk wondering what I was going to do for the next few days, knowing that my usual Friday shenanigans were going to be off due to a friend’s illness and no dancing in sight as I was still recovering from my own recent medical anomaly.  Bored at work, I started searching online for art journaling supplies — maybe it was a shopping bug!  I came across a page that included a video for making a fabric art journal, watched it in all of its four parts, and I was bit (bitten?). Regardless, I watched it once and wanted to make it.  So I wrote a list of supplies, made the executive decision to leave work early (shh…don’t tell the boss or “admin cam”), stopped by the fabric store and headed home with my creative spirits high!

Materials to Get Started

Like I said, I watched the video once.  That’s how simple this project is.  Though since I already had a spiral bound journal ready to go, I did need to figure out on my own how to sew it into the cover.  Easy Caprese!

Thanks to my friend Sarah, who is keeping her sewing machine at my house, I was able to quickly sew together the squares I would use to create the “quilted” cover of my art journal.  I am not a sewer, but these were so quick to just do a running stitch around, stuff and then close up.  You don’t even turn them inside out because you use the raw edge as part of their charm.  I had a lot of fun deciding which fabrics I would use for each pillow and the colors of the border, etc.  What’s great about it is that when you run out of one color thread, you can start with another and it works fine.  Its meant to be rough and haphazard.

I started the project late Thursday afternoon and by Friday mid-day, I had it mostly together and was ready to embellish.

Fabric Art Journal

What was so great about this project, is that the creative energy sparked an entire weekend of journaling and doodling and creativity.  At one point, I was kinda afraid to leave the house and interact with other people in fear that it might zap the energy.  But alas, on Sunday morning when I learned I was out of milk and creamers for my coffee, I had to abandon ship and make a Starbucks run.  But no fear!!! Once I returned and spent some time cleaning up the apartment, I was able to tap right back in and pick up where I left off.  In fact, I’m excited to get home from work today to do some more.

I took lots of pictures and have put together a little picture montage (with music) of the process and some of the inside pages.  I hope that you’ll enjoy and perhaps it will inspire you to take on a creative project of your own.


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